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Sample text

Of course, there is no such thing as a perfectly hard ball. When real balls collide, kinetic energy is not completely transferred from one ball to the other. Some energy is lost to friction. Some is absorbed by the balls themselves as they Matter and Energy are temporarily dented when they collide. Some straightline motion may be converted into spinning motion. It wasn’t until the middle of the 1800s that scientists were finally sure that the total amount of energy in any action stays the same.

Gamow, George. Biography of Physics. New York: Harper & Row, 1961. Goldstein-Jackson, Kevin. Experiments with Everyday Objects: Science Activities for Children, Parents and Teachers. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1978. Haines, Gail Kay. The Elements. New York: Franklin Watts, 1972. Kent, Amanda, and Alan Ward. Introduction to Physics. Tulsa, OK: Usborne, 1983. Lapp, Ralph E. Matter. Life Science Library. New York: Time-Life Books, 1963. Ruchlis, Hy. Bathtub Physics. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1967.

Matter and Energy 48 That idea does sound frightening. However, we don’t really need to worry about it. The universe is still full of usable energy, so the end won’t come for billions of years. In fact, scientists still don’t know whether this heat death will happen at all. It depends on how much matter there is in the entire universe. Scientists believe that our universe was first created billions of years ago in a huge explosion they call the big bang. The universe is still expanding. But if there is enough matter in the universe, gravitational force will eventually take over.

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