January 10, 2011 AT 11:11 am

The Energy of Falling Objects (In Slow Motion)

“Ecomagination” and incorrect SI units notwithstanding, this is pretty cool. From GE:

Energy: you can’t destroy it, but you can certainly waste it. That’s what most motorized vehicles do, including trains. Usually, the energy generated when you stop a moving vehicle is dissipated as heat, and is lost to the atmosphere. With GE’s ecomagination we’ve discovered that you can capture and store that energy, then reuse it – that’s how our hybrid systems work. Watch the video to see a simple illustration of the physics behind dynamic braking. Keep in mind an object’s force is measured in newtons, using the equation force = Mass x Acceleration.

*The Newton is a unit of force. Joule is the SI unit for energy. Thanks to several people for pointing this out.

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  1. Energy Transferred from breaking a train:
    More than a million newtons

    Pretty sure you want joules there…

  2. “With GE’s ecomagination we’ve discovered that you can capture and store that energy, then reuse it”

    Discovered? Regenerative dynamic braking has been in use on railroads since the 1950’s.

  3. Neat Video. Pretty serious error on the units but not as goofy as I’ve seen. Once the local paper once published an article where they said that Micron refreshed their DRAM with little fans blowing on them! Sometimes engineer jokes shouldn’t be shared with the general public.

  4. The actual video was so cool that I did not catch what it was about… 🙂

    My kids will love it and now we will have a discussion on conservation of energy. Just had one on conservation of mass this morning with my 12 yr old as we tried to get all the garbage and recyclables into the car. “Smashing it into cubes does not reduce the cost of disposal because the mass stays the same”.

  5. Wonderful motion graphics on a subject useful to beginner animators as
    well as my VXF students.. soo nice to see numbers and a bit of physics in a

    Faraday said it best – Nothing is too wonderful to be true.


  6. presidentpicker

    nice high speed video. So how the heck does this system work? I was waiting for some explanation and it never came. Surely trains don’t use falling watermelons for braking 🙂

  7. does anybody know what is the background music?

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