Work Energy

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Warning, this website exposes the heretofore unknown flaws within the Work Energy Theorem.  This outrageous claim should cause visitors to become very skeptical.  Oddly, this is desirable because a true skeptic is not only wary of new ideas and discoveries, he is also a bit suspicious of conventional wisdom.  This is because the educated skeptic knows the past is riddled with instances when conventional wisdom was not all that wise.  

Please note, no one is being asked to take anything on faith.   If something does not seem right, check it out for yourself; don't assume this site contains nonsense.Holmes  

Science is about looking, actually looking at what is actually there before drawing any conclusions.   Scientists do science by observing what is there, acquiring data via experimentation, evaluating what is and what is not important before forming a conclusion.  When they don't do science fully, they invariably wind up with the wrong conclusions.  

Today, physicists know a great deal about Momentum and the Work Energy Theorem but, they do NOT know all there is to know.  Some things are simply not taught and the details of those things are found only on this website; some are shown on this first page!



RocketRocket scientists, the ones who actually work with rockets, do not use the kinetic energy formula for their calculations.  If they did, they would discover that when two identical rocket motors accelerate two payloads of different mass, each rocket motor changes the kinetic energy of the payload by a different amount.  And it does not end there; when two identical rocket motors accelerate two identical payloads, the amount of chemical energy converted into kinetic varies if the rockets begin at different velocities.  This fact is verifiable and leaves us with the question of  why.  Shouldn't identical quantities of chemical energy transformed into mechanical translate into identical changes in kinetic energy? 

For those visitors who understand the mathematics of rockets, do the calculations.  See if the amount of chemical energy converted into mechanical varies as claimed.  



When a science teacher or physics professors teaches momentum, he or she will invariably bring up the Law of Conservation of Momentum.   In short, if you have a closed system, the amount of momentum within it does not change regardless of what happens inside that system if nothing leaves or enters that system.   Interestingly, if we take it on faith that the kinetic energy formula is valid, momentum is not a conserved quantity in all circumstances; there is an exception and one that is astonishingly easy to demonstrate.   It is also impossible to refute but, it can be difficult to see when the only goal is defend the status quo.   

A Simple Experiment

Some physicists and others have on their desks a Newton’s Cradle.  When one of the balls is pulled back and released, it swings back, a collision takes place, and a different ball pops out the other side.  When this happens, a slight thermal increase within the balls occurs and a clicking sound is sure to manifest.  The clicking sound should suffice as auditory evidence for a slight reduction in the velocity of the ball leaving the cradle.  Velocity is also diminished due to the balls interaction with the air and the string suspending the balls but, that is not germane to this discussion.  The energy required to make the sound can only come from the kinetic energy of the moving ball and occurs due to a vibration in the balls.  If such a collision occurs in a vacuum, no sound would be possible but, the vibrations in the balls still occur.  And since it requires energy to make something vibrate, there must be a reduction in the amount of kinetic energy within this closed system by an amount equal to the increase in the thermal energy of the balls.  If there is less kinetic energy, there must be a corresponding reduction in momentum since both momentum and kinetic energy use the exact same variables, albeit in slightly different ways.

Kinetic energy has ½mv2 as its formula; it is a function of mass and velocity.  Momentum is also a function of mass and velocity; it is the product of mass and velocity mv; there are no other variables for either.  When the first ball strikes the others, it produces a clicking sound and a tiny bit of kinetic energy transforms into another form  notably thermal.   This can only mean that the ball that leaves after the collision is traveling ever so much slower than the ball that was originally pulled back.  Instead of moving at velocity v that the original ball travelled at, the ball leaving the collision is moving at vz where v is slightly greater than vz ( v  >  vz ).

This means that the momentum in this closed system has changed  mv ≠ mvz.  In other words, the Law of Conservation of Momentum is not valid in this instance; it is only thought to be true because an authority  a physics instructor  said it was so.  The funny thing is that today's physics instructors are not the originators of this; they were taught by others who themselves were taught by their own teachers and so on down the line.  This is conventional wisdom not attributable to any living physicist, in other words.  It is also believed true for other reasons but, now is not the time to get into that; it will be added to this website at a future time.

Refuting the Challenge

An interesting idea could be used to invalidate the previous section; it could be suggested that momentum never truly vanishes because momentum at the macroscopic level (the momentum of the balls) merely transforms into momentum at the molecular level.  This idea is eerily similar to the concept of energy, is it not?  And taking this explanation one step further we find that it still does not prevent momentum from vanishing; the added "momentum" to the individual molecules eventually transforms into thermal radiation that eventually dissipates meaning that a small quantity of momentum does vanish.

It is extremely noteworthy that, whenever momentum and elastic collisions are discussed in a classroom setting, the objects are “ideal” or “perfect”.  In other words, physics instructors use unreal objects during their lessons that never heat up or deform.  And because no such objects actually exist, the Law of Conservation of Momentum is known not to be true but, no one has been courageous or observant enough to say it until now. 

Something to Consider

Before going any further, answer the following five questions.  The answers are either yes or no.

  1. Without using mathematics, can you explain the differences between momentum and kinetic energy so that a layman can understand?  Are you sure?

  2. Do you know the history of momentum; who formulated it, why, and how?

  3. Do you know what came first, the kinetic energy formula or the formula for work?

  4. Do you know why momentum cannot represent mechanical energy? 

  5. Do you know all about the first experiment that confirmed the Work Energy Theorem including the gross experimental error it contains?

If you answered "no" to any of the questions, your physics education is incomplete.  And if it is incomplete, that means you cannot know with absolute certainty whether the Work Energy Theorem is or is not valid.

As taught, the Work Energy Theorem appears indisputable and yet, it has two demonstrable flaws.  One occurs when identical quantities of energy are used to accelerate two objects of differing mass.  The other occurs when accelerating two identical objects from differing initial velocities.  The Work Energy Theorem, in its current form, has been around for more than 150 years.  And in that time, other flaws have unknowingly and without fanfare crept into the Work Energy Theorem so as to hide these two basic flaws. 

The Next Step

The next page examines what occurs when electrical energy is converted into mechanical.  Click on this link to, " The Hidden Flaw " to bear witness to a fact physics instructors always overlook.


NOTE:  This website is under construction.  There will be more information in the next few weeks, all of which can be verified independently and add to the woes of the Work Energy Theorem.

For Comments, Questions, or to report any errors I may have made please email me at