Hi everyone, Ok this gotta be a very simple question... "Calculate the energy released if a 1 solar mass white dwarf undergoes a thermonuclear runaway and converts 0.5 solar masses of carbon (A=12) to iron (A=56)." I know I'm supposed to use e=mc², but I would like to know what the reaction actually is. We start with 1/2 solar mass of C and get X solar mass of iron. Are we assuming X is 1/2? Also aren't we converting lighter atoms to heavier ones? Then how could energy be released in such a process? Just a little bit confused. Any help would be appreciated.