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# 1

## CONSERVATION OF ENERGY AND MATTER

When discussing conversion of energy and matter from one state to another we might
well ask about the efficiency of this conversion. Do we lose some energy in the
process? What happens to the matter in a candle when it burns?

Careful experiments in which water is changed from ice to water to steam, and then
back to water and ice show that not only does the mass of water not change, but also
that the amount of heat required to melt ice is released -in fact, it must be removed-
when water freezes.

When we burn a candle it seems as if the matter of the candle has actually been
destroyed, but this is not true. In fact, if we trap the gases given off by the candle we
will find that they weigh more than the original candle did. The increase in weight is
due to the oxygen from the air which reacted with the carbon and hydrogen atoms in
the wax of the candle. When a candle burns, stored chemical energy is released as
light and heat, and the carbon and hydrogen atoms are converted to the gases carbon
dioxide and water. While compounds are created and destroyed in the reaction, the
same number of atoms is present before and after the reaction. The amount of energy
also has not been changed; it has merely been converted into different forms.

On the basis of many such experiments, we can formulate the laws of conservation
of matter and energy. These laws state that matter is neither created nor destroyed,
and that energy is neither created nor destroyed. Until recently there were no known
exceptions to these laws. The advent of the atomic bomb, however, proved
dramatically that matter can be converted into energy. Therefore, a more general law
of conservation states that the sum of the mass and energy is not changed during
reaction.

We now believe that even when a match burns, an extremely small amount of
matter is converted into energy. Although the exact amount of matter so converted
cannot be measured with even our most precise balances, it can be calculated. In a
nuclear reaction such as that in an atomic bomb or in a nuclear-reactor power
generator, an appreciable amount of matter is converted into energy. In this case,
atoms are transformed into new kinds of atoms, but the new atoms always weigh
slightly less than the old ones. Speaking strictly then, we must change the laws of
conservation of matter and energy into the new statement that indicates that matter
may be converted into energy. Theoretically, the opposite process, the conversion of
energy into matter should occur, but evidence for this has not yet been presented. It
has been postulated that processes of this kind are occurring in some stars.

## Since the amount of matter destroyed in ordinary chemical reactions, is negligible,

we shall treat all chemical calculations as if the old laws were true. However, the very
nature of nuclear reactions is such that matter is converted to energy, and for some
calculations we must recognize this fact.
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Activities

## 1) Qu preocupacin existe cuando se discute la conversin de la energa y la materia de

un estado a otro?

## 3) Qu establece la ley de la conservacin de la materia y la energa?

4) Por que decidirn tratar a los clculos qumicos como si las leyes viejas fuesen
verdaderas?

II) Read the second paragraph and match the subject with the correct verb.

1. Heat a. show
2. Careful experiments b. does not change
3. Heat c. is released
4. The amount of matter d. must be removed

III) Read the text again and find what these words refer to.
It line 6
They line 10
It line 16

IV) What expressions containing modal verbs can you find in the text?

## 1) possibility/ ability.. line .

2) obligation line..
3) probability.. line ..

## V) Turn these sentences into Passive Voice.

1. We shall burn a candle to prove the experiment.
2. They formulated the law of conservation of matter and energy.
3. The company is developing a new automatic transmission system.

VI) Read the following sentences from the text. Underline the verbs and indicate
the verb tenses.

## a) The matter of the candle has actually been destroyed.

b) The amount of energy also has not been changed; it has merely been
converted into different forms.
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c) It has been postulated that processes of this kind are occurring in some
stars.

VII) What type of connector is such as (fifth paragraph)? What ideas does it connect?

..
What type of connector is however (fourth paragraph)? What ideas does it connect?

..

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