If we take matter-antimatter annihilation as being 100% energy efficient, what would be the energy efficiency of:

Uranium fission, Fusion of Hydrogen to Helium, and Combustion of Kerosene.

I understand that the kerosene will be slightly complicated as it is a range of chemicals, but a rough estimation is all that is required.

Note that I am referring to the total energy released per unit mass, not the energy converted to useful energy.


1 Answer 1


in the fusion of two hydrogen nuclei to form helium, 0.7% of the mass is carried away from the system in the form of kinetic energy or other forms of energy (such as electromagnetic radiation). Thus the efficiency compared with antimatter is that: .07% . For regular fuels you need to obtain from the web how much energy they release per unit of measure, let us say per galon. Then calculate the mass of the gallon, m, and divide the energy released by $mc^2$. That will be the efficiency compared to antimatter. But I will leave that as homework (get a table here). For instance, I found the Energy released per fuel mass of gasoline to be $44. 8 MegaJoules/kg$. So the gasoline efficiency would be: $=\frac{44.8\space 10^6 kg/m^2s^2}{1kg \space (3\space10^8 m/s)^2}=1.66 \space 10^{-15}$


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