Sun is loosing mass

Sun is loosing mass

By Basu Nepal

For all physics folks, mass is always constant everywhere and doesn’t change but Einstein had other way, he gave energy-mass equivalence relation (E=mc^2) which brought lots of heat as it treated mass and energy as directly inter dependable. It means hot metal is heavier than cold piece and Sun is losing mass in form of light.

Let me give a small example, hot tea have more mass than cold tea even if you don’t drink it. It doesn’t lose its mass due to evaporation, let’s take it aside for this example. When tea is hot its total mass is given as (E/c^2) as per Einstein’s relation, when cold it release some heat energy from E which makes its total energy (E0) so its new mass is given as (E0/c2) where E0 is less than E, Since c is constant, its new mass is less than previous mass.

Since the speed of light is significantly high and squaring only increases it, the change in mass is so small you won’t feel any change, even most precise instrument can’t measure such change. But the mass does change even if it is too little.

Hot tea have more mass than cold tea even if you don’t drink it

Mass is a very interesting thing if you dig deep into it. Normally we say mass is total amount of matter or stuff contained in an object or body which is easy to understand but it’s not truly right.  Mass is combined form of matter as well as its internal energy or mostly energy.

In hydrogen, mass of hydrogen is less than the combined mass of electron and proton that makes it. When one mass is added it should increase the total mass, but in hydrogen total mass is less than sum of individual mass. It’s because mass is not just total stuff, it also account for the internal energy of particle. When proton and electron are present in hydrogen atom it requires energy to hold them together in place which decreases the total energy of the hydrogen atom which reduced the mass.

For any element mass comes from electron of its atom when it interact with Higgs field which apparently gives mass to everything. But mass of electron is only small portion of mass of atom so remaining mass comes from its proton which is again made up of small particle called as quarks. Quarks also don’t really have “mass” so most of mass of proton is energy that is generated from gluon and Higgs interaction. In general most mass we know is not mass it is energy that make up most of the mass of any atom or element that forms an object.

For instance total mass of all the electron of human body is just 21 grams which is way less than actual mass so rest comes from proton which are also mostly empty and get mass from energy. So, speaking in physics term we all are just bunch of energy interacting with each other.

Image: Solar wind in Sun

Total mass of all the electron of human body is just 21 grams which is way less than actual mass

Going from small electron to big sun, sun constantly gives heat and light energy from the reaction that it undergoes in its surface. With every reaction it is releasing tremendous amount of energy which does not come cheap, its mass is being converted into energy. It loses mass every second at rate of about 4.3 million ton every second, which maybe big number for us but sun has mass of 2 quintillion (2 billion billion) so, it’s not really going to make lot of difference in its mass.

This is something that is too cool to know also do you know most of the space we feel solid is empty and most empty place is not really empty.

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