Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. This principle, called conservation of energy, is one of our most cherished laws of physics. It governs every part of our lives: the heat it takes to warm up a cup of coffee; the chemical reactions that produce oxygen in the leaves of trees; the orbit of Earth around the sun; the food we need to keep our hearts beating. We cannot live without eating, cars do not run without fuel, and perpetual-motion machines are just a mirage. So when an experiment seems to violate the law of energy conservation, we are rightfully suspicious. What happens when our observations seem to contradict one of science’s most deeply held notions: that energy is always conserved?