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Old Oct 5th 2016, 02:14 AM   #1
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Should the word "relative" be used when discussing kinetic energy of Systems?

If you placed a jar of ideal gas that is well insulated, in a car and had a temperature transmitter monitoring the gas temperature in the jar and then drove the car around - would there be a change in temperature- afterall the average kinetic energy of the molecules has increased? - however the kinetic energy of the molecules has not increased relative to the transmitter - so there would be no increase in temperature as you might intuitively expect. So should the term "relative" be used when discussing kinetic energy
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Old Oct 5th 2016, 04:32 AM   #2
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KE is calculated from $\displaystyle KE=\frac 1 2 m v^2$ , and velocity is measured relative to the observer. So yes - the calculation of KE is relative to the observer. For that matter we know from Einstein's Theory of Relativity 'm' is also relative. Hence an object's KE is not absolute.
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Last edited by ChipB; Oct 5th 2016 at 04:37 AM.
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