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E=mc2 problem help

  1. May 6, 2007 #1
    the celebrated equation E=mc2 or m=E/c2 (c is the speed of light) tells us how much mass is loss, m, must be suffered by a nuclear reactor in order to generate a given amount of energy, E/ Which of the following statements is correct?

    a)The same equation, E=mc2 or m=E/c2, also tells us how much mass loss, m, must be suffered by a flashlight battery when the flashlight puts out a given amount of energy, E.

    b) The equation E=mc2 applies to nuclear energy in a reactor, but not to chemical energy in a battery.
     
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  3. May 7, 2007 #2

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    Why would either be true? or Why would E=mc2 be true for a nuclear reaction, but not true for a chemical reaction. Nuclear reactions usually involved energies in the MeV range, while chemical reaction energies are in the eV range.
     
  4. May 7, 2007 #3

    Andrew Mason

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    Einstein developed E=mc^2 without knowing anything about the nucleus. His paper published in 1905 predated Rutherford's discovery of the nucleus by about six years. In his original paper, Einstein showed that any object emitting/absorbing light of energy L will lose/gain mass in the amount m = L/c^2. I think that should tell you the answer to the question.

    AM
     
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