Nonconservation of Energy and Loss of Determinism

Abstract
An infinite number of elastically colliding balls is considered in a classical, and then in a relativistic setting. Energy and momentum are not necessarily conserved globally, even though each collision does separately conserve them. This result holds in particular when the total mass of all the balls is finite, and even when the spatial extent and temporal duration of the process are also finite. Further, the process is shown to be indeterministic: there is an arbitrary parameter in the general solution that corresponds to the injection of an arbitrary amount of energy (classically), or energy-momentum (relativistically), into the system at the point of accumulation of the locations of the balls. Specific examples are given that illustrate these counter-intuitive results, including one in which all the balls move with the same velocity after every collision has taken place.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,365
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
David Atkinson (2007). Losing Energy in Classical, Relativistic and Quantum Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (1):170-180.
C. Hoefer (2000). Energy Conservation in GTR. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 31 (2):187-199.
Dennis Lehmkuhl (2011). Mass-Energy-Momentum: Only There Because of Spacetime? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (3):453-488.
Francisco Flores (1998). Einstein's 1935 Derivation of E=Mc. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 29 (2):223-243.
Francisco Flores (2005). Interpretations of Einstein's Equation E = Mc. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (3):245 – 260.
David Atkinson (2008). Achilles, the Tortoise, and Colliding Balls. History of Philosophy Quarterly 25 (3):187 - 201.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-22

Total downloads

6 ( #206,643 of 1,102,744 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #182,643 of 1,102,744 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.