During the fusion process, how is mass converted into energy?

1 Answer

Answer:

#E = mc^2#

Explanation:

This is calculated using the famous equation of Einstein,

#E = m c^2#

In Fusion reaction like the ones taking place in the core of a Star, there is enough pressure to fuse hydrogen nuclei to form one helium nucleus.

So, 4 hydrogen nuclei are fused together to form one Helium nucleus. But, where does the energy come from that keeps the Sun from collapsing?.

When 4 Hydrogen nuclei are merged together they show a certain discrepancy in the mass when a Helium atom is formed, i.e the mass of 4 Hydrogen atoms before Fusion is higher than the mass of the Helium atom after the reaction this mass defect is converted into energy by #E = mc^2#.

#"mass of a hydrogen atom " = " 1.00794 u"#

#"mass of one helium atom " = " 4.002602 u"#

Where #u = 1.6605 xx 10^(-27)"kg"#.

The mass defect, #Deltam#, will be

#Delta m = 4 xx m_H - m_(He)#

#= 4 xx "1.00794 u" - "4.002602 u"#

# = "0.029158 u "# or #" "4.8416859 * 10^(-29)"kg"#

In the equation #E = mc^2#, #c# is the speed of light in a vacuum, approximately equal to #3 * 10^8"m s"^(-1)#.

This means that you have

#E = 4.8416859 * 10^(-29)"kg" * (3 * 10^8)^2"m"^2"s"^(-2)#

#E = 4.35751731 * 10^(-12)" J per reaction"#