Conservation laws of physics

Hi,
today I want to talk about conservation laws of physics, at least some which I know about since there are just lot of them. Probably during your middle school/high school you have already encountered them. In chemistry when you have some reaction, for example:

Li + H2SO4—> Li(SO4)­ + H2

This could seem good but WordPress does not let me write upper index and (SO4) is -II which is by rule transfered to lithium —> Li2(SO4)


If you ever saw this in school you may remember that now you need to add something since if we count there are two lithium atoms coming from the reaction while only one was there before, we have violated the law of conservation of matter, mass and probably many other laws.
It should go like this:

2Li + H2SO4—> Li2(SO4)­ + H2

Now there is equal amount of stuff on both sides of equation, only thing that happened was that those atoms changed their place.

Neutron decayimg_lrg/virtual_w.jpg not found

To see some laws of conservation we can write up the neutron decay during radioactive decay:

Neutron(0) —> Proton(+) + Electron (-) + anti-neutrino(0)

There is conservation of electric charge, we can test it: neutron has charge exactly 0. Proton has positive charge and electron has exactly the same charge but it is negative, when you put this together it is exactly zero. There is also anti-neutrino but it has charge zero too, so as you can see it does not violate the conservation of electric charge (I am not saying it is right, I am just saying that one law was not violated).

So as you can see from this rule, it may seem that this anti-neutrino thing was not necessary at all, but there are other laws of conservation which would be violated without this tiny particle.

Also here the conservation of quarks is not violated, there are three coming in and three coming out.

Leptons are particles that are not affected by strong nuclear force, those are electrons, mions, tauons and all types of neutrinos.

There is conservation of leptons, there is none coming in the reaction and two are coming out.. hmm
Electron is one lepton while anti-neutrino is anti-lepton which means that they will cancel out and there is zero of leptons in whole reaction, kind of.

So those are some basic laws of conservation but I read that there could be some special circumstances under which the amount of leptons or quarks could change.. look at the amount of matter in the Universe, it is much greater than the amount of anti-matter maybe this is such a case.

Still the most important law is the conservation of energy. Energy or mass since as Einstein’s equation says: E=mc2  —> mass is just different form of energy.

Neutron has little higher mass than proton, this little mass left is the mass which is than transferred to create electron and anti-neutrino.


At last I was very curious how does it work with photon.
Everyone knows that photon has 0 mass and that is why he is able to travel at the speed of light.

E=mc2
E=0*c2
E=0

What? So photon does not have energy or what?  (c2=E/m … c2=E/0 (Universe just exploded))

The problem here is that E=mc2 works only for objects that are not moving, that are on one place which photon is not.

The full equation goes like this:
E^{2}=p^{2} c^{2} + m^{2} c^{4}.P is the magnitude of the momentum of vector p.

\boldsymbol{p}=\hbar\boldsymbol{k},Where ħ is the reduced Planck constant and k is the wave vector which is:
k=2π/λ

Where λ is the wavelength of photon!! Finally we got to something which is understandable for me.

Dragallur

PS: I tried to get to some normal value using wavelength of orange light but I was not able to get something normal so I will update with new post when I will know what I did wrong.

Pictures from Planck constant page and neutron decay page

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2 thoughts on “Conservation laws of physics

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