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Diunggah oleh Hugo Hernández

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate, from a mathematical point of view, the universal validity of the laws of conservation of energy and momentum. It will also be shown that these conservation laws are a natural consequence of the motion of matter. Finally, the implications of energy and momentum conservation to the collision between two particles are considered, and the validity of the Born-Mayer interaction potential as the reason for collision is discussed.

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Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research, 050030 Medellin, Colombia

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

ORCID : 0000-0002-7634-7161

doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.28312.60167

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate, from a mathematical point of view, the universal

validity of the laws of conservation of energy and momentum. It will also be shown that these

conservation laws are a natural consequence of the motion of matter. Finally, the implications

of energy and momentum conservation to the collision between two particles are considered,

and the validity of the Born-Mayer interaction potential as the reason for collision is discussed.

Keywords

Conservation of Energy; Conservation of Momentum; Equations of Motion; Particles Collision;

Born-Mayer Repulsion

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary [1] defines Energy as a fundamental entity of nature that is

transferred between parts of a system in the production of physical change within the system and

usually regarded as the capacity for doing work. The term Energy comes from the Greek

energeia (meaning action or activity), which was used by Aristotle to express actuality,

reality, existence [2].

In modern physics, Energy is defined as the capacity that an object has for performing work

[3]. Since work is related to the motion caused by a force, Energy can basically be considered as

a property of material objects related to their capacity to cause motion, a property that can be

transferred between different objects.

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

Even though the concept of Energy is widely known and used in science and in our daily life, it is

actually a rather abstract and intangible concept. For gaining a better understanding of the

nature of Energy, let us first study the motion of a particle.

Let us consider a particle (or a molecule) of mass in space. At time , the particle will be

located at position . The position of this particle as a function of time ( ) is described by the

general nonlinear differentiable function . Although the mathematical form of such general

function is unknown, it is possible to use a power series expansion around as follows:

| | |

| | |

(1.1)

Let us know give some names to the derivatives of the position with respect to time:

For all following derivatives of position the name hyperchange will be used1. The instantaneous

-th hyperchange is then:

1

For the seventh and eighth derivatives of position the names lock and drop have been suggested,

respectively.

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

(1.8)

Using these definitions, the position of the particle is now described by:

(1.9)

Let us now understand some basic properties of this expression. If the position of the particle

is described relative to a certain static reference position in space ( ), then the new relative

position ( ) will be:

(1.10)

Given that the initial position can also be described relative to the static reference position:

(1.11)

Now, let us assume that the reference position is also in motion ( ). Then, the reference

position as a function of time can also be approximated as:

(1.12)

where the star (*) denotes that it refers to the reference position.

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

The relative position of the particle, considering a moving reference position becomes:

( )

(1.13)

The first conclusion here is that, independently of the reference (static or dynamic), the

position of the particle can be described by the same mathematical functional form, as long as

all derivatives of the position of the particle are relative to the reference position.

In the following discussion, the term and all its derivatives refers to the position of the

particle under any arbitrary frame of reference.

Now, differentiation of the position (Eq. 1.9) with respect to time results in:

(1.14)

And the following time derivatives can be calculated in the same way:

(1.15)

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A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

(1.16)

(1.17)

(1.18)

(1.19)

(1.20)

This is the full description of the arbitrary motion of the particle as a function of time.

Given that the position and all its time-derivatives are simultaneously changing, it is possible to

find a relation for the behavior of the time-derivatives in terms of the position. This can be done

by calculating the position derivative for each time-derivative. Let us consider the case of

velocity. Differentiating Eq. (1.14) with respect to position yields:

(1.21)

Using the definition of velocity (Eq. 1.2) and rearranging, it is found that:

(1.22)

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

(1.23)

(1.24)

If both sides of the equality are multiplied by the mass of the particle, then

(1.25)

The last expression corresponds to the law of mechanical energy conservation.[4] Mass plays a

key role in this equation because energy is defined as an extensive property.

The term is called kinetic energy ( ) of the particle, and the term is called

work ( ) or potential energy difference ( ), where is the net force ( ) acting on the

particle. Thus, the change in kinetic energy of the particle is equal to the work exerted on the

particle (or to the change in potential energy):

(1.26)

or equivalently,

(1.27)

(1.28)

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

(1.29)

(1.30)

(1.31)

(1.32)

and in general,

(1.33)

Up to this point, it has been shown that the conservation of mechanical energy is a natural

mathematical manifestation of the motion of bodies, as it is the conservation of similar higher

order expressions (Eq. 1.28 1.33). Energy can be interpreted thus, as a mathematical

abstraction more than as a real tangible entity of nature. And, as a mathematical tautology, the

experimental validity of the conservation of energy is thus not surprising.

Up to this point, we have only considered an individual particle in motion, not interacting with

any other particle. Let us now assume that this particle will approach the trajectory of a second

particle at some future time. In order to understand the collision, it is important to understand

the interaction between the two particles.

It is assumed that the work of the interaction between the particles can be described by a

function ( ) of the distance between the particles at any given moment:

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

(2.1)

where and are the positions of the particles 1 and 2, respectively, under any arbitrary

reference.

The instantaneous force acting on particle can be described by (from Eq. 1.26):

(2.2)

(2.3)

(2.4)

and therefore:

(2.5)

Since , then

(2.6)

or equivalently,

(2.7)

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

(2.8)

Now, defining the momentum ( ) as the product of the mass and the velocity of a particle, [6]

then

(2.9)

This means that the total momentum of the system (particles 1 and 2, in this case) remains

constant during the collision, based on the only assumption that the interaction potential is a

function of the distance between the particles.

Let us consider again the collision between two hard particles with masses and , which

at time (before the collision) have velocities and , respectively. During the

collision, both momentum and mechanical energy are conserved, as it was shown in the

previous sections. Therefore:

(3.1)

And

(3.2)

If the particles are initially moving at constant velocities, and after the collision they reach

constant velocities too, then the work of collision can be neglected (conservative systems) and

the energy conservation equation becomes:

(3.3)

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

(3.4)

or equivalently,

( ) ( ) ( )

( ) ( )

(3.5)

( ) ( )

( )

(3.6)

( ) ( ( ) ) [( ) ]

(3.7)

( ) ( ( ) ) ( ) [( ) ]

(3.8)

( ) ( ) ( )

(3.9)

One of these solutions ( ) is the initial condition, and it would be the case if no

collision occurs. On the other hand, the second solution (when collision occurs) is:

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

(3.10)

Similarly, the velocity of the first particle has two solutions, one is the case of no collision

(when ), and the second is:

(3.11)

And the relative velocity of particle 1 with respect to particle 2, after the collision is:

( )

(3.12)

That is, the relative velocity of particle 1 with respect to particle 2 after the collision has exactly

the same magnitude but in the opposite direction of the relative velocity of particle 1 with

respect to particle 2 before the collision, as long as the initial and final velocities of the particles

correspond to constant velocities.

When both particles have the same mass, , then the velocities after the collision

are:

(3.13)

and

(3.14)

that is, the velocities between the particles are exchanged. The relation between the relative

velocities before and after the collision still holds true:

( ) (3.15)

Now, if one the particles has a negligible mass compared to the other ( ), then

(3.16)

and

(3.17)

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

In this case, the massive particle is not affected by the collision. However, the relation between

relative velocities still holds true:

( ) (3.18)

Let us consider now that the initial velocity of the massive particle is . Then,

(3.19)

(3.20)

So in this case, the velocity of the particle with negligible mass after collision is exactly the

opposite of its velocity before the collision.

The results obtained in this section are of practical importance for understanding the thermal

behavior of matter as well as certain thermodynamic laws, as it will be shown in a future work.

Assuming that both particles have a net electric charge of zero, that their dipolar moment is

zero and that they are not polarizable, then the only relevant interaction is repulsion.

Experimental results have shown that the repulsion potential between two atoms can be

represented by the Born-Mayer function [7]:

(4.1)

where and are constants, and is the unit direction vector pointing from atom 2 to atom

1, and is given by:

[ ]

(4.2)

related to the reciprocal of the range of the interaction.

It is now assumed that the particles considered present an exponential repulsion potential

following the Born-Mayer function. For simplicity, let us now consider the dynamic position of

particle 2 as the frame of reference. In this way, the repulsion potential becomes:

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

(4.3)

where , and

[ ]

(4.4)

In the following derivation, velocity and acceleration are also relative to particle 2:

(4.5)

(4.6)

Therefore:

(4.7)

Considering the Born-Mayer repulsion function, then the acceleration function of particle 1

relative to particle 2 will be:

( ) ( )

( )

(4.8)

or equivalently,

( )

(4.9)

( )

(4.10)

Integrating:

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

( )

(4.11)

( )

(4.12)

Therefore,

( )

(4.13)

( )

(4.14)

( )

(4.15)

or equivalently,

( )

(4.16)

and integrating:

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

( )

( )

( ) ( )

( )

(4.17)

Considering that at time (close to the time of the collision), the relative velocity of

particle 1 was , then

( )

( ) ( )

( )

(4.18)

Resulting in:

( )

( )

( )

( )

( )

( )

( )

(4.19)

( )

( )

( )

( )

( )

( )

(4.20)

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

( ) ( )

( )

( )

( )

( ) ( )

( )

( )

(4.21)

Considering the more general case , then for a long time before the collision,

( )

(4.22)

( )

(4.23)

Therefore,

(4.24)

(4.25)

confirming from a mathematical point of view, that the Born-Mayer repulsion expression is a

valid approach for representing the collision between particles.

Conclusion

It has been shown that the conservation of mechanical energy is a natural mathematical

consequence of the motion of bodies (Eq. 1.25). In addition, assuming that the interaction

www.forschem.org

A Mathematical Reflection on the Origin of the Laws of

Conservation of Energy and Momentum

Hugo Hernandez

ForsChem Research

hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

potential between two particles is a function of their distance, then the momentum is also

naturally conserved (Eq. 2.9). During a collision between particles, if the work caused by the

interaction can be neglected, then the result of the collision can be easily described as a

function of the relative velocities of the particles before the collision (Eq. 3.15). Finally, it has

been shown that the Born-Mayer expression (Eq. 4.1) for describing the repulsion interaction

potential satisfies the mathematical requirements for a conservative collision between

particles.

Acknowledgments

The author gratefully acknowledges the helpful discussions with Prof. Jaime Aguirre

(Universidad Nacional de Colombia).

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public,

commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

References

[1] Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/energy.

Accessed on 01/02/2017.

energy. Accessed on 01/02/2017.

[3] Halliday, D., Walker, J., & Resnick, R. (2010). Fundamentals of Physics, Chapter 7. John Wiley

& Sons.

[4] Halliday, D., Walker, J., & Resnick, R. (2010). Fundamentals of Physics, Chapter 8. John Wiley

& Sons.

[5] Halliday, D., Walker, J., & Resnick, R. (2010). Fundamentals of Physics, Chapter 3. John Wiley

& Sons.

[6] Halliday, D., Walker, J., & Resnick, R. (2010). Fundamentals of Physics, Chapter 9. John Wiley

& Sons.

atoms with Z= 2 to Z= 105. Physical Review, 178(1), 76.

www.forschem.org

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