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Fusion Energy In Sun; What Is Nuclear Fusion? What Is Nuclear Fission? Does A Fuel Rod Inside Of A Nuclear Reactor Lose Mass As It Burns, And Does Sun Lose Weight As It Burns Via Fusion?

Some inquiring minds want to know if nuclear fission or fusion energy produced in the sun  is zero point energy, where no mass is lost as a huge amount of energy is produced? 


Fusion Energy in the sun

The sun has been producing light for about five billion years but where does all its energy come from? The most common idea is that the sun is burning gas - like a giant fireball in the sky. If this were true, the sun would have gone out long ago. So how is the sun actually fueling itself? The sun is converting its own mass into energy. By combining protons (the nucleus of hydrogen) into helium, it squeezes some mass into energy - 4.3 billion kg per second. It is Einstein's famous E=mc^2 which gives us the quantitative relationship between mass and energy, where c is the speed of light.


Nuclear Fusion
Fusion - The process in which light elements combine to produce heavier ones.
All nuclei are positively charged
To fuse nuclei, they must be brought as close as 1 X 10-15 m apart, where the strong nuclear force overpowers the repelling electrical forces.
To bring the nuclei this close, we must accelerate atoms to very high speeds.
This is the process in the sun and it occurs at temperatures above 1 X 106 degrees Celsius.
As with fission, the mass of the products are less than the reactants.
Mass loss is responsible for energy production according to the equation E = mc2.

Another source confirms this same basic process, where energy is produced, mass is lost, whether by fusion or by fission.....

"When 4.00 g of hydrogen nuclei undergoes fusion to form helium in the Sun, the change in mass is 0.0265 g and energy is released. Use Einstein’s equation, E = mc2 , to calculate the energy equivalent of this change in mass. ......




What is fission?

Nuclear Energy - The energy produced when mass is converted into energy. The name is used because the conversion occurs in the nucleus. There are two types of nuclear reactions which convert mass into energy.


PT January 29, 2015 “…Spent Nuclear Fuel. Spent nuclear fuel looks just like it did when it was loaded into the reactor. Within the fuel rods there is a change in the chemical species due to the nuclear processes at work. There is a minuscule loss of weight because in the fission process some mass is converted into energy (heat)….”


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Bottom line, Einstein's famous E=mc^2 which gives us the quantitative relationship between mass and energy, where c is the speed of light is not violated either in the fusion process or in the fission process of nuclear reactors. Energy is produced by losing mass. It is really fairly simple really. Both fusion and fission can be seen to be roughly like burning a candle, where mass is turned into energy; heat and light. Of course, there are major differences, but let's keep it simple. KISS.

For all of those people hoping that nuclear or fusion energy is somehow the magic elixir that is zero point energy, sorry, neither fusion nor fission energy fits that bill. Einsteins theory still applies both in fission and fusion. Keep looking though.. you might get lucky.



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