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Energy imparted and energy transferred

  1. Dec 30, 2006 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    What is the distinction between energy imparted and energy transferred? Both impart and transfer is translated to the same word in Swedish, so I'm rather confused. The context in which the two are mentioned (the Compton effect) doesn't make it any clearer either, at least not to me.

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    I can't make an attempt at a solution to any problem until I get the basics straight.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2006 #2


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    Imparted and transferred are interchangable words so energy imparted and energy transferred mean the same thing. The nuances of English means that in certain situations one word will be favoured over the other but only for aesthetic purposes. If there is any difference in any specific area of physics I do not know what it is.
  4. Dec 30, 2006 #3


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    I agree, the words are almost interchangeable in British English.

    The difference in meaning could be that "transfer" implies "to move something from one place and put it in another place", and "impart" implies "to give something" without saying to where it comes from.

    For example for two objects A and B, "energy is imparted to B" means the energy of B increases, without saying where the energy came from.

    "Energy is transferred from A to B" means that A loses energy and B gains the same amount of energy.

    In British English, you can say "energy is transferred to B" (without mentioning A explicitly), but you would never say "energy is imparted from A to B".

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  5. Dec 30, 2006 #4
    Thank you for your efforts! However, I'm not sure they're helping. Perhaps an example from my textbook is necessary.

    Photon hf1 is entering volume V, and undergoing a Compton interaction which produces scattered photon hf2 and an electron with kinetic energy T. The electron is assumed to produce bremsstrahlung x-ray (hf3) before leaving V with remaining energy T'. It then produces another x-ray (hf4). In this example the energy imparted, energy transferred, and net energy transferred in V are, respectively,



  6. Jan 1, 2007 #5


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    Hmm.... English is my first language, and I don't understand your quote from your textbook either :confused:

    But I'm a mech. engineer, so if I ever knew what the Compton effect was, I've now forgotten. That doesn't help!
  7. Jan 1, 2007 #6
    I wanted to include a picture, but I don't know how to do.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
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