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RE: First Law of Thermodynamics, Nuclear



Dan --

As I recall my sophmore thermo, there is no "but..." in the first law; the
effect of the general theory of relativity is to link the conservation of
energy and of mass via Einstein's famous E=mc^2; hence energy and matter are
conserved even in nuclear reactions, where a small amount of mass is indeed
converted to energy ("lost" in the pre-relativistic sense).
Because of the large value of c^2, the amount of mass lost in producing
energy is extremely small but nonetheless finite.  For example, conversion
of 1 gram of matter to energy releases the equivalent of nearly 10^14
Joules, or approx 27.8 million kwHr.  

Scott Butner (butner@battelle.org)
Pacific NW National Laboratory
Richland, WA  99352


-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel N. Webster
To: p2tech@great-lakes.net
Sent: 1/12/01 1:59 AM
Subject: First Law of Thermodynamics, Nuclear

Does anyone know this Law in detail as it related to Nuclear Power.
It stated something about conservation of energy and matter except in a
nuclear reaction.
Or energy and matter can not be destroyed except in a nuclear reaction.

Thanks in advance
Dan Webster
Former United States Nuclear Machinist Mate
Current Student at Colorado School of Mines
Currently Working at Walsh Environmental