Is It true that matter cannot be created or destroyed?

  • #1
Hey! I have been wondering that is it true that matter can not be created or destroyed. I feel like it is a great question or that the idea is wrong because of couple of reasons....
  1. How do trees for from trees? Don't they just create more matter
  2. How can something change shape without destroying the matter to become a smaller object or create matter to turn into a bigger thing such as a tree?
I know that some of the thing do accept that idea but not these or do they just do?

I am not really sure
 

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  • #2
FactChecker
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In those kinds of examples, matter is not created or destroyed. If you totally enclosed those items in a sealed container, you would find that the matter went to some other form inside the container. Matter CAN change its appearance and characteristics, but it is still there. It can be included in something with less density but more volume. A solid can be turned onto a gas. Other things like that can happen. But the small atomic components are all still there, somewhere.
 
  • #3
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I have been wondering that is it true that matter can not be created or destroyed.
Matter is both created and destroyed on a routine basis in nuclear reactors and particle accelerators.

How do trees for from trees? Don't they just create more matter
The bulk of tree material is carbon which was taken from the atmosphere and fixated into the plant material. So it is not created, just collected and solidified.
 
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  • #4
Khashishi
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Trees also collect water and various micronutrients from the ground. The tree builds hydrocarbon compounds out of CO2 and H2O, releasing O2 back into the air.
 
  • #5
lekh2003
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Hey! I have been wondering that is it true that matter can not be created or destroyed. I feel like it is a great question or that the idea is wrong because of couple of reasons....
  1. How do trees for from trees? Don't they just create more matter
  2. How can something change shape without destroying the matter to become a smaller object or create matter to turn into a bigger thing such as a tree?
I know that some of the thing do accept that idea but not these or do they just do?

I am not really sure
In your case, your are not isolating the system. The tree gets more material to grow from nutrients in the soil, water, and sunlight (vitamin d), which you should have learnt in school. It is producing new matter from old matter. No extra matter or less matter.

However it is important to discuss what @Dale said. You can actually create and destroy matter from energy. This is where the famous equation ##E = mc^2## comes in and why nuclear reactors produce so much energy. Matter can be used to turn into energy.

So nuclear reactors do routinely destroy matter and extract energy from it, but in the situation you are discussing, matter is not destroyed or created.
 
  • #6
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However it is important to discuss what @Dale said. You can actually create and destroy matter from energy. This is where the famous equation ##E = mc^2## comes in and why nuclear reactors produce so much energy. Matter can be used to turn into energy.

So nuclear reactors do routinely destroy matter and extract energy from it, but in the situation you are discussing, matter is not destroyed or created.
I read long ago that the energy from nuclear bombs was from the mass represented by the energy of the bonds, not from the destruction of matter. Is there a clear distinction between "matter" and "mass" due to energy? Is the line between them vague or well defined? As an interested amateur, I have the impression that each type of reaction can be a different mixture of the two.
 
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  • #7
Khashishi
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The confusion comes from the fact that the energy in chemical bonds is minuscule compared to the mass energy equivalent of the atoms, so the mass of the bonds can be ignored. Even with nuclear reactions, the mass equivalent of the bond is a fraction of a percent.

Simply put, the mass of two particles that are bound together is less than the mass of each particle added together. The difference in mass is equal to the energy released divided by c^2 when they bind together. Since the energy released in most reactions is very small, you don't normally notice the loss of mass.
 
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  • #8
Drakkith
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I read long ago that the energy from nuclear bombs was from the mass represented by the energy of the bonds, not from the destruction of matter. Is there a clear distinction between "matter" and "mass" due to energy? Is the line between them vague or well defined? As an interested amateur, I have the impression that each type of reaction can be a different mixture of the two.
The "typical" fission reaction that occurs in nuclear weapons splits nuclei apart, but all of the protons, neutrons, and electrons that existed prior to the fission event still exist afterwards, and no fundamental particles are created or destroyed. The energy comes solely from the breaking of the bonds. This release of energy means that the products have less mass than the reactants (nucleus + incoming neutron).
 
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  • #9
jbriggs444
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It may be misleading to speak of energy being present in bonds and being released by the breaking of those bonds. The energy that is present in bonds is negative. Breaking those bonds absorbs energy. The energy released in a chemical reaction such as oxidation is due to the creation of bonds.

In the case of nuclear fission, the protons in the nucleus are subject to electromagnetic repulsion -- the Coulomb force. The bonds from the strong force hold this repulsive force in check. Breaking the strong force bonds takes energy. But more energy is released from the electromagnetic repulsion than is required to break the bonds.

In the case of nuclear fusion, the situation is reversed. It takes energy to defeat the electromagnetic repulsion. But even more energy is released due to the formation of the strong force bonds.
 
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  • #10
russ_watters
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I read long ago that the energy from nuclear bombs was from the mass represented by the energy of the bonds, not from the destruction of matter.
This is true, but if you prefer a more clear-cut conversion of a particle to radiant energy, matter-antimatter interactions do that.
Is there a clear distinction between "matter" and "mass" due to energy?
No.
 
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  • #11
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It may be misleading to speak of energy being present in bonds and being released by the breaking of those bonds. The energy that is present in bonds is negative. Breaking those bonds absorbs energy. The energy released in a chemical reaction such as oxidation is due to the creation of bonds.

In the case of nuclear fission, the protons in the nucleus are subject to electromagnetic repulsion -- the Coulomb force. The bonds from the strong force hold this repulsive force in check. Breaking the strong force bonds takes energy. But more energy is released from the electromagnetic repulsion than is required to break the bonds.

In the case of nuclear fusion, the situation is reversed. It takes energy to defeat the electromagnetic repulsion. But even more energy is released due to the formation of the strong force bonds.
Aha! Thanks. I think that clears up some other things that were puzzling me.
 
  • #12
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Matter is both created and destroyed on a routine basis in nuclear reactors and particle accelerators.
If particles in a accelerator can destroy matter, as you clearly state. Why cannot matter be destroyed by a BH ?

Other staff members have stated "The LHC does not "destroy" particles"
 
  • #13
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Other staff members have stated "The LHC does not "destroy" particles"
Point to an example and you'll get a more focused clarification....
 
  • #14
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Matter and energy cannot be destroyed only converted in form..... closest you can come is a matter / antimatter annihilation, which CONVERTS the matter and anti-matter's mass into energy.

On the matter creation aspect, has the LHC had much luck at converting energy into matter? (need both aspects to work efficiently for my replicator)

(E)nergy = (M)ass times the speed of light (C) squared........
 
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Why cannot matter be destroyed by a BH ?
Do you have a reference for this? I do not think it is correct.
 
  • #16
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Matter and energy cannot be destroyed
Matter certainly can be destroyed. You are perhaps saying matter when you mean mass.
 
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  • #17
Drakkith
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Matter and energy cannot be destroyed only converted in form..... closest you can come is a matter / antimatter annihilation, which CONVERTS the matter and anti-matter's mass into energy.
The products of annihilation depend on the annihilating particles and their speeds. An electron and a positron approaching each other at low speeds annihilation to produce two gamma ray photons whose total energy is equal to the sum of the rest masses of the particles plus their kinetic energy. Increasing the speed increases the energy of the resulting photons.

A proton and an anti-proton will annihilation to produce both EM radiation (photons) and matter particles. The annihilation could produce a number of electrons, positrons, photons, and many other types particles. There are many possible combinations of products.

In any case, matter can indeed be destroyed or created.

On the matter creation aspect, has the LHC had much luck at converting energy into matter?
Absolutely. Each collision produces an enormous number of matter particles. Most of these are unstable, however, and quickly decay into less massive, stable particles.

(need both aspects to work efficiently for my replicator)
You won't get any useful matter out of the LHC. The overwhelming majority of particles created are those with small masses like electrons, neutrinos, or pions, along with massless photons.
 
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  • #19
jbriggs444
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Light (not) escaping from black holes
"The LHC does not "destroy" particles"
The LHC fails to destroy particles in the sense that there is something there both before and after the interaction.

A black hole singularity is different in the sense that there is no "after" for a geodesic which is incomplete where it approaches the singularity.
 
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  • #20
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Do you have a reference for this? I do not think it is correct.
were dealing with the information paradox

Starting in the mid-1970s, Stephen Hawking and Jacob Bekenstein put forward theoretical arguments based on general relativity and quantum field theory that not only appeared to be inconsistent with information conservation but were not accounting for the information loss and state no reason for it. Specifically, Hawking's calculations[4] indicated that black hole evaporation via Hawking radiation does not preserve information. Today, many physicists believe that the holographic principle (specifically the AdS/CFT duality) demonstrates that Hawking's conclusion was incorrect, and that information is in fact preserved.[5] In 2004 Hawking himself conceded a bet he had made, agreeing that black hole evaporation does in fact preserve information.
 
  • #21
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The LHC fails to destroy particles in the sense that there is something there both before and after the interaction.

A black hole singularity is different in the sense that there is no "after" for a geodesic which is incomplete where it approaches the singularity.
Context was that the LHC destroyed the protons, and I was told by staff The LHC does not "destroy" particles" I disagreed and stated the protons were destroyed.

In me and your context, particles collided after a month of speed increasing close to that of light, does in fact destroy the particles, and we observe the decay.
 
  • #22
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were dealing with the information paradox ... black hole evaporation does in fact preserve information.
Information ##\ne## matter
 
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  • #23
Drakkith
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Context was that the LHC destroyed the protons, and I was told by staff The LHC does not "destroy" particles" I disagreed and stated the protons were destroyed.
It doesn't destroy particles the way a black hole would destroy them (in the case where information is lost). It does destroy them in the sense that where you had two protons before the collision, you don't have those two protons after the collision.
 
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  • #24
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Information ##\ne## matter
lets try another angle

So the only way to really "destroy" or "convert" ordinary matter is to pair it with the same amount of antimatter so that their "matterness" cancels out—but in practice there is almost no antimatter generally available in the universe (see baryon asymmetry and leptogenesis) with which to do so
 
  • #25
ZapperZ
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lets try another angle

So the only way to really "destroy" or "convert" ordinary matter is to pair it with the same amount of antimatter so that their "matterness" cancels out—but in practice there is almost no antimatter generally available in the universe (see baryon asymmetry and leptogenesis) with which to do so
Er..no, this is not the ONLY way. We teach in intro general physics courses about binding energy and "missing mass". This is the most common phenomenon of mass-energy conversion.

Zz.
 
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