Misconception NGM060:

Energy can be destroyed (Kruger, 1990; Trumper, 1998).

Items that test for misconception NGM060 in this key idea (Regardless of what happens within a…)
Item ID
Number

Item Description

How Often the Misconception was Chosen

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NG096002

The total amount of energy a ball has does not change after it goes down and up a dip because the total energy of the system (ball and track) does not change (assuming no energy transfer between the ball and the track and the ball and the air around it).

35%

NG080003

As a clay ball falls and hits the ground, the total amount of energy in the system stays the same because the decrease in energy due to the clay ball moving closer to the ground is equal to the increase in energy due to the clay ball and the floor getting warmer.

28%

NG081003

The total energy inside a closed cooler filled with ice and a can of soda stays the same even though the can of soda gets colder, because the amount of energy that the can of soda lost is equal to the amount of energy that the ice gained.

26%

NG078002

After a rubber band is used to shoot a toy car across the floor, the total energy of the system will remain the same because the increase in the motion energy (kinetic energy) of the car is the same as the decrease in the elastic energy of the rubber band.

25%

NG089003

The total amount of energy in a lunch box containing only an ice pack and the air around it remains the same even after the ice pack gets warmer and the air gets colder. (This item uses bar graphs to depict the amounts of each form of energy.)

21%

NG092002

Assuming no energy transfer between a ball and the track it is moving in, the amount of energy the ball has after it goes over a hill will be the same as before it went over the hill.

18%

NG075003

Assuming that no energy is transferred between a ball and the curved track it is moving in, or between the ball and the air around it, a ball on a curved track will reach a point as high as the point from which it started because as the ball moves down the track, its gravitational potential energy will change into motion energy, and as the ball goes up the other side, its motion energy will be changed back into an equal amount of gravitational potential energy.

17%

NG083003

Energy is transferred to the air around hot food as the food cools even though the temperature of the air does not appear to increase.

15%

NG088003

When a student shoots a rubber band across the room, the elastic energy of the rubber band is transformed into motion energy, and the total amount of energy stays the same. (This item uses bar graphs to depict the amount of each kind of energy.)

12%

Items that test for misconception NGM060 in other key ideas

RG119002

When a battery is used to power a flashlight, a small amount of energy is transformed into thermal energy.

41%

RG078003

Each time a person used a flashlight some of the energy from the battery was transferred to the surrounding environment. Eventually all of the energy became uniformly distributed in the surrounding environment and was no longer available to make the flashlight work.

41%

RG127002

In a windmill, 100% of the kinetic energy from the wind cannot be converted into electrical energy because a small amount of energy will always be converted into thermal energy and transferred to the environment, during each transfer and transformation of energy.

35%

RG128002

Friction between a carpet and a chair will increase the amount of energy transferred to the environment, so in order to move the chair on the carpet, a man will have to transfer more energy to the chair.

34%

RG114002

When two balls collide, a small amount of energy was transferred to the environment as thermal energy.

27%

RG149002

When a student pushes a block across a table energy is transferred to the environment as thermal energy.

26%

NG089004

The total amount of energy in a lunch box containing only an ice pack and the air around it remains the same even after the ice pack gets warmer and the air gets colder. (This item uses bar graphs to depict the amounts of each form of energy.)

24%

NG092003

Assuming no energy transfer between a ball and the track it is moving in, the amount of energy the ball has after it goes over a hill will be the same as before it went over the hill.

23%

RG064002

The amount of kinetic energy a white ball has after being hit by a black ball is less than the amount of kinetic energy the black ball had before the collision because when energy was transferred from the black ball to the white ball, some energy was also transferred to the surroundings.

22%

RG069003

Energy is transferred from a person to a triangle as the person hits it, and then energy is transferred away from the triangle by sound after the person stops hitting it.

22%

RG067002

Saying that energy is used up when a machine operates means that some energy spread out to the surrounding environment as thermal energy, and that energy is now in a less useful form.

20%

RG097002

After one ball collides with another, the first ball moves slower because it transferred energy to the second ball when the balls hit each other.

19%

NG083004

Energy is transferred to the air around hot food as the food cools even though the temperature of the air does not appear to increase.

18%

RG099002

After one car bumps into another car, the first car moves slower and second car moves faster because energy was transferred from the first car to the second..

18%

RG065002

When a rubber band is stretched and then let go of, some elastic energy is converted into kinetic energy and some energy is also transferred to the surroundings.

18%

NG068006

If a book falls off a shelf, the amount of energy the book has when it is on the floor is less than the amount of energy it had when it was on the shelf because the amount of energy of the floor has increased, and if energy increases in one part of a system, it must decrease in another.

15%

RG028004

After a drummer hits a drum once, the energy of the drum will decrease because the sound will transfer energy away from the drum.

15%

NG088004

When a student shoots a rubber band across the room, the elastic energy of the rubber band is transformed into motion energy, and the total amount of energy stays the same. (This item uses bar graphs to depict the amount of each kind of energy.)

14%

RG145002

A device cannot power itself because some energy will be transferred to the surrounding environment, and that energy will no longer be available to be used by the device.

11%

RG186001

When a student holds a snowball in her hand, her hand will get colder because some energy is transferred from the student’s hand to the snowball.

8%

RG040003

When a tuning fork slows down and eventually stops vibrating, some of the energy is transferred to the surrounding air.

7%