- #1

kvl214

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## Homework Statement

The question is "Calculate the energy released if a 1 solar mass white dwarf undergoes a thermonuclear runaway and converts 0.5 solar mass of carbon (A=12) to iron (A=56)."

I've only ever done nuclear equations with hydrogen fusion, with four hydrogens to one helium. But I don't know the reaction for carbon to iron, since it's not evenly divisible.

## Homework Equations

rest mass energy E = mc^2

energy released = E(reactants) - E(products)

## The Attempt at a Solution

I calculated the number of carbon particles from 0.5 solar masses -- 7.4e56 C particles

And the rest mass energies of carbon and iron -- C=1.1e4 MeV, Fe=5.2e4 MeV

Since 56/12 = 4.66, do we just use a fraction amount for carbon? So 4.66 C → 1 Fe ?

I just don't know where to go from here.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks