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Name: Lucius
Status: other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 8/2/2004

What is the relationship between Latent Heat and E = mc^2?

Einstein's famous equation states the equivalency of energy and mass. The conversion factor, "c^2" however, means that a very small loss in mass yields a very large amount of energy. The energies of chemical reactions and changes of state involve quantities of energy that are so extremely small compared to the equivalent change in mass that for all practical purposes the change in mass can be ignored. Only in nuclear reactions does the energy and mass changes become measurable.

Vince Calder

If you have a perfectly sealed vacuum jar half-full of water, when 0 degrees C and melted it will weigh slightly more than when 0 degrees C (same temperature) but frozen. Likewise 90% ice and 10% water weighs less than 10% ice and 90% water.

To melt ice requires slowly putting in energy. That energy has mass. During that time the temperature will remain constant, the ratio of ice/water will decrease, and the mass will ever so slightly increase.

Melting 1kg of ice requires 80kcal or (x4.2=) 335 kJoule of energy.

E=mc2: --> m= E/c2 = 335kJ / (3e10meter/sec)^2 = 3.3e5J / 9e20 = 3.7e-16 kg. 1kg vs. 4e-16 kg.

The mass increases by much less than 1 trillionth.

Good luck imagining how we could even try to measure it.

Jim Swenson

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