How Can You Remove Energy From Matter?

February 14, 2024

You can remove energy from matter by converting it to other forms of energy. For example, you can use a steady flow of water or wind to turn turbines that produce electricity. You can also convert thermal energy into other forms of energy by adding or removing heat from a system. But you cannot convert matter into energy, since matter is not a form of energy. Instead, matter takes up space and carries mass.

Matter can change its state—become liquid, gas or solid—by absorbing or losing thermal energy. During this process, the particles in the matter vibrate faster or move farther apart. By increasing the temperature, a substance can become a liquid, and reducing the temperature allows a substance to become a solid.

The smallest part of a particle that has no mass is called its rest mass. All particles have rest mass. But, rest mass can be converted to other forms of energy, such as kinetic energy or the radiant energy carried by light and other radiation. This is why a compressed spring has more mass than an uncompressed one.

Energy is not a thing like bricks, but a capacity to do things. For example, a swinging bat has energy, which it can use to hit the ball. Energy is also what causes a moving car to accelerate, or the force of gravity pulling on something. Energy can also be transformed into other forms of energy—for example, turning mechanical energy into electrical energy using a generator or a battery. But, you can't transform energy into matter because matter isn't made of energy, it is energy. Changing matter into something else requires energy—for example, fusing elements to create heavier elements such as iron or creating a black hole.


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