# Frequent question: How does nuclear fusion convert mass into energy?

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Nuclear Fusion reactions power the Sun and other stars. In a fusion reaction, two light nuclei merge to form a single heavier nucleus. The process releases energy because the total mass of the resulting single nucleus is less than the mass of the two original nuclei. The leftover mass becomes energy.

## How much mass is converted to energy in nuclear fusion?

A helium nucleus has a mass that is 0.7% less than that of four hydrogen nuclei; this lost mass is converted into energy during the fusion. This reaction produces about 3.6 × 1011 kJ of energy per mole of He42 produced.

## What happens to mass in nuclear fusion?

Nuclear fusion is the process by which two or more atomic nuclei join together, or “fuse,” to form a single heavier nucleus. During this process, matter is not conserved because some of the mass of the fusing nuclei is converted to energy, which is released.

## What process converts mass into energy?

Nuclear fission allows a tiny fraction of the energy associated with the mass to be converted into usable energy such as radiation; in the decay of the uranium, for instance, about 0.1% of the mass of the original atom is lost.

## How is mass converted to energy in nuclear reactions?

Determining the Energy Change of a Nuclear Reaction

Calculate the change in mass by subtracting the combined mass of the reactants from the combined mass of the products, Convert the change in mass into its equivalent change in energy using Einstein’s equation. Convert the energy change from J/atom to kJ/mol of atoms.

## Does fusion reduce mass?

We know that all nuclei have less mass than the sum of the masses of the protons and neutrons that form them. … The larger nucleus has a greater binding energy and less mass per nucleon than the two that combined. Thus mass is destroyed in the fusion reaction, and energy is released (see Figure 2).

## Why energy is released in nuclear fusion?

In a fusion reaction, two light nuclei merge to form a single heavier nucleus. The process releases energy because the total mass of the resulting single nucleus is less than the mass of the two original nuclei. The leftover mass becomes energy.

## Does fusion absorb energy?

Nuclear fusion is the joining of two nuclei to form a heavier nuclei. Fusion of nuclei with lower mass than iron releases energy while fusion of nuclei heavier than iron generally absorbs energy. …

## Is nuclear fusion difficult to control?

Fusion, on the other hand, is very difficult. Instead of shooting a neutron at an atom to start the process, you have to get two positively charged nuclei close enough together to get them to fuse. … This is why fusion is difficult and fission is relatively simple (but still actually difficult).

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Does Fusion produce radioactive nuclear waste the same way fission does? … Fusion on the other hand does not create any long-lived radioactive nuclear waste. A fusion reactor produces helium, which is an inert gas. It also produces and consumes tritium within the plant in a closed circuit.

## Can we convert mass to energy?

First discovered by Einstein more than 100 years ago, it teaches us a number of important things. We can transform mass into pure energy, such as through nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, or matter-antimatter annihilation.

## Can we convert matter from energy?

To manufacture matter in a way that adheres to the first law of thermodynamics, you have to convert energy into matter. … The nucleus shares the energy and allows the photon to disintegrate into an electron and a positron, the antimatter opposite of an electron.

## Is mass equal to energy?

Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared.” On the most basic level, the equation says that energy and mass (matter) are interchangeable; they are different forms of the same thing. Under the right conditions, energy can become mass, and vice versa. 