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So, as we know, the energy-mass equivalence states that e=mc^2 (when the object is stationary from the relativistic point of the observer.)

My question is, how would we go about harnessing the incredible amounts of energy that is stored in matter? Is it released through annihilation of the particles with their corresponding antiparticles, or is there an easier way to release the energy that is stored in matter?

Thanks for helping!

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uberteknik
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(Original post by majmuh24)
So, as we know, the energy-mass equivalence states that e=mc^2 (when the object is stationary from the relativistic point of the observer.)

My question is, how would we go about harnessing the incredible amounts of energy that is stored in matter? Is it released through annihilation of the particles with their corresponding antiparticles, or is there an easier way to release the energy that is stored in matter?

Thanks for helping!

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Nuclear fission and fusion for a start. The sun has converted mass into energy for the last 5x109 years give or take and is only half way through the process of converting its mass of hydrogen into helium.
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(Original post by uberteknik)
Nuclear fission and fusion for a start.
But even fission can't harness the full amount of energy that is stored in atoms, and fusion is not exactly economically viable with current technology on a large scale.

How would the mechanism between direct mass and energy conversion work, so you can assure that all the mass has been converted straight to energy?

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uberteknik
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(Original post by majmuh24)
But even fission can't harness the full amount of energy that is stored in atoms, and fusion is not exactly economically viable with current technology on a large scale.

How would the mechanism between direct mass and energy conversion work, so you can assure that all the mass has been converted straight to energy?

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The question to ask is: what is energy and what is mass?

If the energy conservation laws hold true that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, how then is energy transmitted and in what form?
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Zaros
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You question is incredibly hard to answer, since it is "easier" to go from energy to mass. For example, if I was in a spaceship and I am traveling at a speed very close to that of light, and I try to go faster by putting in energy to the engine my spaceship will swell and gain mass due to the energy which I am putting into the engines.
Now lets say I want to go in the opposite direction, first I have a lot of mass and I want energy, in order to access this energy, since technically one could say that mass is a form of energy, I would have to push the mass over the equal side. In order to do this I would need to put in enough energy to destroy mass.
We can see this happen naturally in radioactive materials like Uranium. When Uranium gives off alpha radiation it loses mass. If we take the total mass of the alpha radiation and the left over atom we will see the overall energy has decrease, such as to give the alpha radiation it's movement energy. As such we can see that "Mass" or "Nuclear Energy" is a potential energy such as GPE. In order to access this Energy we need to put in energy such as to destroy mass.
Unfortunately we don't have the current amount of technology needed to completely destroy matter, however if it was needed it would probably be stated in a question, given that all the mass has become energy.
If you want to know more about this I would recomend the book E=mc^2 by David Bodanis. He explains the discovery of E=mc^2 and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima incredibly well.

If you want to ask anything else please feel free to ask me. Hope that answers your question
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