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Re: Mass

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Posted by daViper on August 13, 1999 19:00:09 UTC

: : Can mass really be converted to energy?

: Yes, It's called atomic energy.

::::::::::::::: Methinks the point "No Train" is making here is a bit deeper than that.

To produce Atomic energy, the atom itself is "split" or broken apart in a chain reaction of colliding "particles" striking the nucleus of other atoms ad naseaum.

But...

At what point do we say for sure that the "particles" (nuclei, which are then further broken into their component protons and neutrons) break further into their component quarks and can be described as "quanta" (a sort of wave/particle duality) during the course of a nuclear reaction?

i.e. Does our current atomic energy production technology actually produce quanta or does it merely produce protons, neutrons, and free atomic nucleii? If no quanta are produced in this process, can we actually say matter itself is being converted to energy or are we not just dealing with a lower level of energy based on particle momentum?

If No Train didn't in fact intend to ask this in such detail, then I'd like to know the answer, since the question suggests it anyway to me.

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