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Re: [Phys-L] 9th grade energy resource projects

On 11/26/2014 04:12 PM, James Cibulka wrote:

energy resources .... thinking outside the box ... mechanical energy

love a challenge

Anybody got a project ?

The following may be farther outside the box and more of
a challenge than 9th graders really want, but it's fun to
think about:

Imagine a project that starts from the observation that
"energy" (as in "energy resources" as in "Dept. of Energy")
is *not* the same thing as
/energy/ as in /mechanical energy/ as in /physics energy/.

"conservation" as in "help conserve endangered wildlife"
is *not* the same as
/conservation/ as in /momentum is conserved/ locally, strictly, always.

So the two-word phrase "energy conservation has at least four
possible interpretations. Ouch.

I'm not saying the DoE "energy" is wrong; in fact it is
tremendously important. It's just not the physics /energy/.
Of course the physics /energy/ is tremendously important also.
Obviously Exxon-Mobil does not produce physics /energy/;
there is just as much physics /energy/ before as after, no
matter what they do.

One thing that makes this challenging is that it is quite
hard to define the DoE "energy". It has more to do with
fuel value than with physics /energy/. And "value" has
more to do with economics than physics. It is real and
important, but notoriously subjective and context-dependent.

It is tricky to understand the physics /energy/, but
at least it's a function of state, not subjective, not

You could have fun coming up with examples that have less
physics /energy/ but more fuel value, e.g. liquid nitrogen.