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Workshop 6. Energy and Systems

Physicists use the concept of a system to trace and quantify the flow of energy. In this session, take a close look at a number of energy systems and see how this concept is closely linked to the Law of Conservation of Energy.



Program Questions

Answers

1. How can we reconcile the law of conservation of energy with everyday experience?

We can reconcile the law of conservation of energy with everyday experience by accounting for energy in terms of systems. Any "missing" energy can be accounted for by looking for energy conversions and transfers out of the system, even if they are not obvious at first.

2. What is a system?

A system is an object or objects around which we can draw an imaginary boundary to keep track of inputs, outputs and internal changes.

3. How can systems be useful in thinking about energy?

Systems enable us to make predictions, take better measurements, and improve our energy efficiency.

4. What are some practical applications of energy systems?

The systems approach is critical in helping us understand energy flow in terms of inputs, outputs and internal change — even with phenomena not usually thought of in terms of energy.

 

WWWFurther Explanations

Host

1. Bomb Calorimeter

Elevator

2. How Do You Read an Electric Meter?

Molecules

3. Designing a Solar House

Toy Car

4. Modeling Hurricanes

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