1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Does an object lose thermal energy due to gravity alone

  1. Feb 4, 2012 #1
    If I have an object say a 1kg lump of metal. it is at a temperature of say 20c. I then take that object and raise it and place it on a shelf, does it lose any thermal energy due to the new height, In other words does it cool down for no other reason than being raised to a different elevation?

    lets assume you are able to measure exactly the heat lost via radiation and conduction!

    Therefore when you measured the temperature of the object at the new vertical position, would it be cooler than than it should be if you just deducted the measured losses?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2012 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    No - why would it ?
  4. Feb 4, 2012 #3
    Has such a theory ever been tested?

    I believe I can prove that it must. but I needed to clarify that question first before I propose a theory as to why it must.

  5. Feb 4, 2012 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That's such a basic issue that it is constantly being tested. It is covered just fine by conservation of energy and the relationship between the different forms of energy.
    Please reread our forum guidelines regarding personal theories - they aren't allowed here. However, if you pose a question instead of asserting a new theory, we can help you understand the issue.
  6. Feb 4, 2012 #5
    Thanks, I am aware of the no theories policy. It has always made me wonder. there are many brilliant people here that could easily shoot down some of the more silly theories that do arise.

    I always thought a section dedicated to new theories would be appropriate. kept separate of course.

    As far as I am aware we don't have a GUT yet, which means there must be a large number of theories to yet be devised and tested. So some of the silliest theories could have merit. I assume that proposing a theory does not require ones name be S Hawkins. Or is it out of bounds to mere mortals? Glad Einstein didn't think that. I mean who could believe that time was relative. Such a thing is preposterous, and from a mere clerk, what right has he got!

    I was not intending to put forward a "theory of physics". I was going to phrase my "theory" in the form of a question. "if this happens then shouldn't this happen?", followed by the question "if not, why not?"

    Still I am not ready to ask my question yet. I need to ponder it a lot more.
  7. Feb 4, 2012 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    We had one once. It was a disaster: a cesspool.
  8. Feb 5, 2012 #7
    Yeah I thought a little more about it. I have seen some of the crazies out there, so I guess it would be hard to control and would bring the tone down somewhat.

    Oh and I sincerely hope no one thought I was comparing myself or anyone else to Mr Einstein.

  9. Feb 5, 2012 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The problem isn't just about the "crazies" out there, but also about the absolutely massive amount of people who "think" they understand something and want to prove it. 99.99999+% of the time that someone comes to the forum with a "new theory", it is just plain wrong. What's the point of having a new theory forum when the entire thing is filled with incorrect information?
  10. Feb 5, 2012 #9
    1) Fun

    2) New ways to misunderstand topics are helpful to educators as myself who try to improve the way that topics are taught
  11. Feb 5, 2012 #10
    It depends. If you raise it following a quasi-static process the temperature will be the same. If you do in a nanosecond, the turbulence generated and air friction would heat the object, but after some time it would cool again up to thermal equilibrium with the rest of the room.
  12. Feb 5, 2012 #11


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Well, seeing as how every once in a while I've been known to google "Einstein wrong" just to see what bizarre misunderstandings show up this time, I can't really argue with #1... But it gets old pretty quickly.

    As for #2... the problem is that people interpret permission to start "my new theory" discussions as permission to skip the necessary foundation work of understanding the mathematical basis, strengths, and weaknesses of the existing theories. Thus, the discussions end up shedding no light on the way that these topics are taught. However, a question of the form "I don't understand how current accepted theory explains.... Help me here?" is acceptable under the guidelines, and the resulting discussion sometimes has great value for improving the quality of teaching.

    Actually, the Einstein example can be argued the other way. Relativity starts with a deep understanding of classical physics and an appreciation of one of the great challenges of the second half of the nineteenth century (reconciling E&M with classical kinematics) . Einstein was able to come up with relativity because he had that deep understanding and was able to build on it; and "mere clerk" never entered into the acceptance of his contributions.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook