# You can never find a physicist when you need one.

• But I've got a shot of finding one at TheDailyWTF forums. I hope.

From an article on "first splitting of the atom":

"The research duo used their new-found juice to accelerate hydrogen nuclei in a discharge tube and have them bombard a layer of lithium. Sure enough, when the hydrogen nucleus (one proton) collided with the lithium nucleus (three protons and four neutrons), the lithium broke into two helium nuclei (with two protons and two neutrons each) shooting off in opposite directions. POW!
Even better, Cockcroft and Walton measured the total kinetic energy of the helium nuclei. It was greater than that of the original hydrogen and lithium nuclei. But they also observed a loss in the total mass of the nuclei. This provided confirmation of Einstein's law (E = mc2) on the equivalence of mass and energy. The initial computations were subject to experimental error, but later scientific work in this vein confirmed the equation in detail."

Huh?   H + Li => 2He   should be   1p + 3p4n => 2p2n + 2p2n   So why is there a loss in the total mass?  Deuterium?

• The mass defect is due to the difference in binding energies.  Surprisingly, Wikipedia does a decent job explaining it.  That's pretty rare.

• @bstorer said:

The mass defect is due to the difference in binding energies.  Surprisingly, Wikipedia does a decent job explaining it.  That's pretty rare.

I stand corrected. I can find one when I need one.. or at least someone made out of physicist-like material.

Shouldn't be suprised though,  e=mc**2  =>  mass is energy and vice-versa, so what really is mass? I think I would need several aspirin an hour to work at the LHC.

Thanks.

• @ijij said:

Shouldn't be suprised though,  e=mc**2  =>  mass is energy and vice-versa, so what really is mass?
Mass is e/c².   Come on, you should be able to figure this out.

• @Xyro said:

@ijij said:

Shouldn't be suprised though,  e=mc**2  =>  mass is energy and vice-versa, so what really is mass?
Mass is e/c².   Come on, you should be able to figure this out.

That's all well and good, except if c is zero.  DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND?

• @bstorer said:

That's all well and good, except if c is zero.  DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND?
No, just my stack:

``public double whatReallyIsMass(double e) {	double c = Universe.currentUniverse().getElectroMagneticPropagationVelocity(null); // in a vacuum	if (c > 0 && c != Double.POSITIVE_INFINITY) {		//TODO: Check for arithmetic overflow		return e / Math.pow(c, 2);	} else {		throw new IllegalUniverseException("Bad lightspeed value: "+c);	}}``

• @Xyro said:

Mass is e/c².   Come on, you should be able to figure this out.

When I was a student, I heard Frank Wilczek call this "Einstein's second law" (the first being E=mc²).

• Just look at all the sexual innuendo- Accelerate through a discharge tube? Bombard? is this just a physicists secret code for saying "I masturbated on the lithium sample, but it's ok, it was an experiment"?

@ijij said:

but later scientific work in this vein confirmed the equation in detail.

Bukkake in a test-tube.

• @BC_Programmer said:

is this just a physicists secret code for saying "I masturbated on the lithium sample, but it's ok, it was an experiment"?
Sad part is that's the only thing in this thread I understood.

• @BC_Programmer said:

Just look at all the sexual innuendo- Accelerate through a discharge tube? Bombard? is this just a physicists secret code for saying "I masturbated on the lithium sample, but it's ok, it was an experiment"?

@ijij said:

but later scientific work in this vein confirmed the equation in detail.

Bukkake in a test-tube.

This gives a whole new meaning to "TubeRodent".

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