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2) One day early man discovered fire (then, they say, he played with it).3) But the energy density of molecular bonds (as released by fire) is dwarfed by that of nuclear bonds.1) Perhaps we can also say of pre-fire days that kinetic energy (i.e. interactions between stable molecules) was dwarfed in terms of energy density by fire.So, extrapolating, suppose we could access the next level down, inter-quark forces within nucleons.How much energy are we talking about in these inter-quark bonds? Is there a "binding energy" curve for the different nucleons according to their quark composition?Why aren't we already building nucleon reactors?
I can see it is a theoretical impossibility to extract energy from systems that are already in their lowest energy configuration; but not that stability has much to do with it. Hydrogren is stable, yet a fissile energy source. Perhaps there is more to the application of thermodynamics to energy sources than you yet realise?Neglecting how it is done or the energy costs of doing it for a minute, a replacement of an UP quark in a proton with a DOWN quark to make a neutron must either release or require some energy.How much energy is the first question, and then we might next think about the energy cost of firing quarks into the proton or neutron to achieve it.
Even in particle accelerators we have not yet seen isolated quarks?
That's a pretty high energy threshold. Or is there some other reason?