# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Is matter and energy exchangeable?  (Read 3466 times)

#### Codex1770c

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##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« on: 31/07/2010 06:29:03 »
Hi I am a 14 year old that is very interested in physics and the sciences. Now I have a question, is energy and matter really exchangeable? Yes, yes I know E=MC2. But how does that prove that they are exchangeable. That only shows the relation of matter and energy and how much of one you need to = the other.

Also if it is true, then that proves a lot of my theories, mainly having to do with creative Alchemy. There are others but don't want to give my well thought out plans that could make me famous! (JK)
all of the hours of me thinking and writing down my ideas could be shattered if it isn't true, I mean that formula can very well save humanity and help us evolve as a species.

Thankyou!

P.s.  Let me share with you one of my entries  ( sorry for bad grammar and what not, put this together mindlessly while thinking! )  This is the kind of thing I would apply this science to:

7/19/2010  Alchemy

If energy and matter is really interchangable, then if I exert enough energy and in the right way I should be able to
create matter.  That energy would be expelled though something like a spring device that can store enrergy and quickly
release it.  If certain perameters are met then in turn you could create something like carbon from thin air.  If This
is not enough energy then a subatomic breakdown ( nuclear fission ) should be able to exert enough energy.  once more this
energy would need to be concentrated into a very small space, the more energy you have, the more matter you can create.
As a portable alternative you  could use heat, kinetic, and sound energy all into the same area to create something
of small proportions.  But if this procedure was being done in a lab with nuclear fission as it's power source then you
might be able to create something of a larger mass.

To prove my theory I could use   E=MC2... this means Energy = Mass x the acceleration of light sqared.  So take a small cube with
a small amount of mass and multiply it's mass by the acc of light squared and you get that many joules of electricity.
So if you take that many joules of energy and devide by the acc of light squared you will find how much mass that amount of
electricity can turn into.  But... I do not know how to turn them into each other, only that they can.

lol thx again!

#### Pmb

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• Posts: 1838
• Physicist
##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« Reply #1 on: 31/07/2010 06:41:09 »
Hi I am a 14 year old that is very interested in physics and the sciences. Now I have a question, is energy and matter really exchangeable? Yes, yes I know E=MC2. But how does that prove that they are exchangeable. That only shows the relation of matter and energy and how much of one you need to = the other.
What exactly do you mean by “interchangeable”? While you’re pondering that let me note that (simply speaking) Einstein defined the term “matter” such that anything with energy also had matter. Some physicists I know follow this definition in their physics texts.

#### Codex1770c

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##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« Reply #2 on: 31/07/2010 06:51:47 »
Well by interchangeable ( or rather exchangeable ... same difference )  hmmm, to show what I am trying to say I will break it down.  An atom is composed of proton, neutrons, and electrons... which is energy ( right? )  so with that said, if you have that energy then you can create matter.  And if you break down that matter you can get the energy back.  Sorry if I sound nooby to you.  I am new to this and find it truly fascinating, please correct me if I am wrong.

#### Pmb

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• Posts: 1838
• Physicist
##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« Reply #3 on: 31/07/2010 07:13:17 »
Well by interchangeable ( or rather exchangeable ... same difference )  hmmm, to show what I am trying to say I will break it down.  An atom is composed of proton, neutrons, and electrons... which is energy ( right? )
No!!

#### Codex1770c

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##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« Reply #4 on: 31/07/2010 07:24:22 »
Well then what are the particles!

CODEX: Just to let you know, I have deleted the duplicate thread you started in General Science - MOD
« Last Edit: 31/07/2010 07:55:42 by Geezer »

#### Pmb

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• Posts: 1838
• Physicist
##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« Reply #5 on: 31/07/2010 07:58:53 »
Well then what are the particles!
Well then what are the particles!
They're simply particles. You can’t think of particles being made of energy. Is that what you thought?

Here’s a little tutorial on energy I wrote. Please read it to get the right idea about energy.
http://home.comcast.net/~peter.m.brown/mech/what_is_energy.htm

#### Hels

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##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« Reply #6 on: 31/07/2010 09:59:22 »
Hi Codex

First up, I love your style.  And don't worry about having ideas which aren't quite right shattered, think of it as being like cracking an egg to find one tiny grain of truth within.  It's a long and difficult process, but don't ever (I'm not allowed to capitalise that as it's considered shouting) let your enthusiasm be dented.

Also, don't use a linear model of right and wrong.  Don't take a line where right is at one end and wrong is at the other. Take that line, join the two ends together to create a circle and now right and wrong are next to one another. It is a tiny step from being completely right (and very famous) to being horribly wrong (and deeply embarrassed).  But it may only be one tiny part of the equations which sends the whole thing storming off in the wrong direction.  Criticism will help you get those crucial little equations right in your head to completely transform the results.

That said, I don't think you're as far off the mark as the results of your thinking might suggest.  And that's the thing with the cyclical model, what you end up saying may look so completely wrong (and I'm not saying it does) that some people might not get how your underlying principles aren't actually too far off the mark.

#### LeeE

• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 3382
##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« Reply #7 on: 31/07/2010 12:27:02 »
Mass and energy can be converted into each other, in accordance with E = mc2, but because the speed (and not the acceleration) of light 'c' is such a big number it's difficult and dangerous to work with, quite apart from radiation risks (because energy liberated by the conversion of mass will include X and Gamma rays).

For example, it's estimated that in the Little Boy bomb dropped on Hiroshima only 0.6 grammes of mass was turned into energy.  When you're dealing with such small amounts of mass and such large amounts of energy, 'spring' based devices aren't really going to cope.

#### Codex1770c

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• Posts: 8
##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« Reply #8 on: 01/08/2010 08:51:53 »
Well thanks... I am kinda new to this but I find it so much fun.  I could spend hours thinking of ideas.  But ya know what I really love, nothing is actually truly proven! Science is such an open and hot topic right now and there is so much to learn!
Hi Codex

First up, I love your style.  And don't worry about having ideas which aren't quite right shattered, think of it as being like cracking an egg to find one tiny grain of truth within.  It's a long and difficult process, but don't ever (I'm not allowed to capitalise that as it's considered shouting) let your enthusiasm be dented.

Also, don't use a linear model of right and wrong.  Don't take a line where right is at one end and wrong is at the other. Take that line, join the two ends together to create a circle and now right and wrong are next to one another. It is a tiny step from being completely right (and very famous) to being horribly wrong (and deeply embarrassed).  But it may only be one tiny part of the equations which sends the whole thing storming off in the wrong direction.  Criticism will help you get those crucial little equations right in your head to completely transform the results.

That said, I don't think you're as far off the mark as the results of your thinking might suggest.  And that's the thing with the cyclical model, what you end up saying may look so completely wrong (and I'm not saying it does) that some people might not get how your underlying principles aren't actually too far off the mark.

#### Codex1770c

• First timers
• Posts: 8
##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« Reply #9 on: 01/08/2010 08:53:46 »
Yeah I was maybe thinking of a solenoid spring or something, heck... I don't even know.  Springs ar pretty amazing when you look at them in a certain view.
Mass and energy can be converted into each other, in accordance with E = mc2, but because the speed (and not the acceleration) of light 'c' is such a big number it's difficult and dangerous to work with, quite apart from radiation risks (because energy liberated by the conversion of mass will include X and Gamma rays).

For example, it's estimated that in the Little Boy bomb dropped on Hiroshima only 0.6 grammes of mass was turned into energy.  When you're dealing with such small amounts of mass and such large amounts of energy, 'spring' based devices aren't really going to cope.

#### Soul Surfer

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• keep banging the rocks together
##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« Reply #10 on: 01/08/2010 12:39:34 »
The ways of converting mass into energy and energy into mass are well known and understood.  The reason that they are not used on an everyday basis is that they are quite difficult and inefficcient.

Mass into energy involves fission or fusion bombs, nuclear fission reactors or nuclear fusion reactors. These are being used or developed today but they produce their energy in the form of very high energy particles and radiation that are dangerous to human life and these particles need to be "cooled down" and the energy spread out to be useful in the sort of generators that we use to generate electricity.

Energy into mass involves the reverse process.   High energy particles and radiation are converted into particles by interaction with strong electromagnetic fields in a process called pair production.  This requites very high concentrations of energy in a small place.  Whole it is true that the amount of energy needed to make one particle is quite small with respect to the energy stored in a spring focusing this energy into a volume the size of that particle is very difficult.  You can also only produce individual particles in pairs one of matter and one of antimatter.  The simplest and lowest energy is to produce pairs of electrons and positrons.  For that you need something over 1MEV (million electron volts) energetic particles so if you got an electron gun and a high voltage generator say about 1.5 million volts and shot the electrons at a thin film of metal you would get a few extra electrons and positrons coming out.  To generate individual protons you need energies around 2000 times as great as this  say 2000 million electron volts.  This is  the power of a decent sized particle accelerator.  They use this process to generate the antiprotons that they use in the LHC. Even then the process is inefficient and you can't generate precisely what you want because what comes out is a random mix of all the sorts of particles that could be created with the energy that you are using.   You may be able to make a few million particles but this is a vast number of orders of magnitude short of even the particles you need to make all the particles in a grain if sand.  You have also created the antiparticles of the particles you created and these would very soon bump into a particle and explode in a burst of energy destroying a similar (but not the same) particle that you have just created.  So making stuff by creating matter is totally counterproductive compared with finding the sort of matter you want by digging it up!
« Last Edit: 01/08/2010 17:11:28 by Soul Surfer »

#### Codex1770c

• First timers
• Posts: 8
##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« Reply #11 on: 03/08/2010 22:26:45 »
Wow, thanks... that's awesome
The ways of converting mass into energy and energy into mass are well known and understood.  The reason that they are not used on an everyday basis is that they are quite difficult and inefficcient.

Mass into energy involves fission or fusion bombs, nuclear fission reactors or nuclear fusion reactors. These are being used or developed today but they produce their energy in the form of very high energy particles and radiation that are dangerous to human life and these particles need to be "cooled down" and the energy spread out to be useful in the sort of generators that we use to generate electricity.

Energy into mass involves the reverse process.   High energy particles and radiation are converted into particles by interaction with strong electromagnetic fields in a process called pair production.  This requites very high concentrations of energy in a small place.  Whole it is true that the amount of energy needed to make one particle is quite small with respect to the energy stored in a spring focusing this energy into a volume the size of that particle is very difficult.  You can also only produce individual particles in pairs one of matter and one of antimatter.  The simplest and lowest energy is to produce pairs of electrons and positrons.  For that you need something over 1MEV (million electron volts) energetic particles so if you got an electron gun and a high voltage generator say about 1.5 million volts and shot the electrons at a thin film of metal you would get a few extra electrons and positrons coming out.  To generate individual protons you need energies around 2000 times as great as this  say 2000 million electron volts.  This is  the power of a decent sized particle accelerator.  They use this process to generate the antiprotons that they use in the LHC. Even then the process is inefficient and you can't generate precisely what you want because what comes out is a random mix of all the sorts of particles that could be created with the energy that you are using.   You may be able to make a few million particles but this is a vast number of orders of magnitude short of even the particles you need to make all the particles in a grain if sand.  You have also created the antiparticles of the particles you created and these would very soon bump into a particle and explode in a burst of energy destroying a similar (but not the same) particle that you have just created.  So making stuff by creating matter is totally counterproductive compared with finding the sort of matter you want by digging it up!

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Is matter and energy exchangeable?
« Reply #11 on: 03/08/2010 22:26:45 »