It all goes back to Einstein's famous formula E=M*(C squared). This describes the amount of energy that would be released by the total conversion of
some amount of matter to energy. An atom (fission) bomb only converts about 3% of the fissile material to energy and a hydrogen (fusion) bomb converts
about 7% of the fusion matter to energy. But that still amounts to one heck of a lot of energy. Don't believe it, just ask a Japanese citizen who
lived through Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
So, let us look at what that means in the real world. First we need the definitions and units of each of the parts of the equation.
Joule - This is the unit of energy that the term E (energy) is measured in. As a unit of energy, it is defined as the amount of energy required to
raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius.
Mass - This is the unit of mass that the term M stands for and is measured in Kilograms. If an atomic bomb only converts 3% of the fissile mass to
energy (some of the newer ones are more efficient) that means that only .03 Kilogram of mass is totally converted for each Kilogram of fissile
material in the bomb.
C - stands for the speed of light in Kilometers per second. That number is 300,000 or three hundred thousand kilometers per second.
Now let's put it all together for a bomb with one Kilogram of fissile material...
E - energy in joules equals .03 (mass in kilograms) times the speed of light in KPS (300,000) squared which equals 90,000,000,000 or 90 billion.
So the energy in joules is equal to 90,000,000,000 times .03 or 2,700,000,000 or 2 billion 700 million joules.
Now let's put that into the actual equation...
2,700,000,000 (joules) = .03 (Kilogram) times 300,000 squared or 90,000,000,000
So we have the energy release of only .03 Kilogram being able to raise the temperature of one Kilogram (approx 2.2 pounds) of water by two billion
seven hundred million degrees. That is one heck of a lot of energy.
So why doesn't the Large Hadron Collider blow up or melt down? It is simple really. The mass of the particles they are smashing together is
exceedingly small. They are smashing individual protons together in two counter rotating streams. And the mass of a single proton is 1.67262158e-27
kilograms. This is an exponential number in scientific notation. So to tie this all up lets expand that number for the mass of a proton to normal
The mass of a single proton is .000000000000000000000000000167262158 kilograms. That doesn't produce enough energy for an ant to blow it's nose. And
that is only if the entire mass of the proton is converted to pure energy. The actual process produces some energy and some smaller particles that
they are looking for with their detectors. But the actual measure of the energy of a proton traveling at near light speed in the accelerator is in
TEVs, or trillion electron volts. And no, I am not going any further to change TEVs to any other measure.
OK, I lied, so due me...
Here is the equivalent in joules of an electron volt. 1 electron volt = 1.60217646 × 10-19 joules or .0000000000000000000160217646 joules.
edit on 28-10-2012 by happykat39 because: added info