- #1

- 11

- 0

I recently did a homework problem for my introductory Quantum Mechanics course and in the problem we were given the sun's temperature in Kelvin as well as the diameter of the sun and instructed to calculate the rest mass lost per second to radiation by the sun. I was able to solve the problem after a bit of work but a question stuck out in my head while I was doing it. If we were to calculate the amount of mass lost by the sun caused by it's emitting radiation (light) then how exactly does or could the sun lose mass solely through the emission of mass-less particles? Essentially I don't quite understand how you can give off mass-less particles and lose mass because of it. Could somebody help clarify a bit for me?

I have a feeling that E=mc[itex]^{2}[/itex] would have to do with it because the equation explains the mass-energy equivalence. But I'm still not sure where along the line that the mass get's lost. Is it essentially that some amount of mass inside of the sun is converted to energy and that energy being radiant energy from electromagnetic radiation? Anyway, any help in clarification would be much appreciated.