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Q & A: atoms destroyed

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Most recent answer: 04/24/2009
Q:
I am preparing a lecture, and I would like to be able to say that "an atom is never destroyed". Can I say that?
- Ronald J. Rippin (age 82)
Fredericton, NB, Canada
A:
It wouldn't be true. Atoms can be destroyed, in the sense that their energy is converted to completely different forms. For example, an atom might collide with an antimatter atom, leaving only high-energy light rays.

Mike W.

(published on 04/24/2009)

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