1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How can ~100% of any mass be converted into energy WITHOUT the use of anti matter?

  1. Apr 22, 2010 #1
    Hi everyone,

    Somewhere I've heard of a special type of laser which when it strikes matter could convert near 100% of it into energy, the laser's energy being insigificantly small as compared to the output thus achieving ~100% efficiency? Is this a way or is there any other means to achieve this without having to use anti matter? Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2010 #2

    mathman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: How can ~100% of any mass be converted into energy WITHOUT the use of anti matter

    What you've heard doesn't sound right. Could you give a specific reference?

    The only serious use of a laser for mass to energy conversion is laser fusion, but that fuses light nuclides into slightly heavier nuclides, where the mass difference is converted to energy.
     
  4. Apr 22, 2010 #3
    Re: How can ~100% of any mass be converted into energy WITHOUT the use of anti matter

    Converting 100% of matter into energy, without the use of antimatter, would likely be impossible due to conservation of baryon number and lepton number. The only way it could be possible would be if there were interactions that could violate conservation of B and L; none have been discovered yet. It's possible that they could exist (the X and Y bosons, if they exist, may violate B and L conservation), but it doesn't seem likely that they could be stimulated with a laser, unless the laser was at EXTREMELY high energies, corresponding to the X and Y boson masses, which would probably be near the TeV scale. No such laser has been developed yet, and it may be impossible to build such a laser.

    Fusing light nuclei into heavy nuclei, as mathman said, would convert a small portion of the mass into energy, but it would be nowhere close to 100%.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: How can ~100% of any mass be converted into energy WITHOUT the use of anti matter?
Loading...