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Name: Chris
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Question:
Actually, the solution to your problem is quite simple. There IS no law of conservation of mass. The appropriate conservation law here is conservation of energy. Mass, see, is a type of energy. So in the LHC, or other colliders, some of the tremendous energy pumped into the system is converted to mass.

Richard Barrans, Ph.D., M.Ed.
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Wyoming


You have to be very careful with conservation laws. They "ain't so simple" as appears in introductory texts. The first Oh! Oh! is Einstein's famous law E=mc^2 which demonstrates the equivalence of energy and mass. So if energy is gained (or lost) for a particular event, and you have not included that in your conservation of mass bookkeeping, you would seem to have "discovered" a violation of the conservation of mass, but in fact you haven't, you just haven't counted all the origins of the mass. There are some cases where this discrepancy has been used to characterize an unobserved particle, which gave particle physicists a good idea where to look, and behold the missing mass was found.

The second Oh! Oh! Is Emmy Noether's theorems. She was an 'up and coming' theoretical particle physicist in the 1920's and early 1930's when she was unfortunately struck down by breast cancer. She was able to prove mathematically that for EVERY CONSERVATION LAW there was a corresponding SYMMETRY LAW. This is an "if and only if" requirement. A Web Search will give more details than we can use in this limited format. This is one of the motives that drive high energy physicist and cosmologists to look for more and more particles, and symmetries in high energy events.

It appears from reading your question several times that you think anti-matter has zero mass: "... how are we able to create antimatter... , would we not also have to create matter when creating antimatter..."

That is not the case. Matter and anti- matter have the same mass (so far as we know) it is their charge which differs

Vince Calder



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