Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Convert matter to energy and back into matter

  1. Feb 1, 2005 #1
    Do u think it is possible to convert matter to energy and back into matter the same way without harm?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2005 #2
    this could be a good way of travel
  4. Feb 2, 2005 #3
    Not exactly, no. They are two quite different things. The term "matter" has always been ill-defined and therefore one can't say if the amount has changed when it can't even be quantified. The amount of energy present at anytime is always constant. What can be done is to change the form of matter that is present from one in which the rest mass of particles is non-zero to that when one form in which the rest mass of some particles is zero. E.g. an electron and positron can anihilate each other producing two photons. The electron and positron each have a finite rest mass while each photon has zero rest mass. However the total energy and the total mass is non-zero and the same after the anihilation as before.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook