# Would direct matter to energy conversion be hazardous?

A simple question...

In a setting I am working on, I want most advanced civilizations to use a form of Cymatics to facilitate matter to energy conversion.

They have the technological acumen to "unravel" matter into energy. Giving them cheap and abundant energy.

At current levels of efficiency, they have an energy budget comparable to nuclear fusion.

What I want to know is, would direct matter to energy conversion generate hazardous forms of radiation like nuclear fission?

• Energy is not a thing. Energy is just a physical quantity which measures the capacity of a physical system to do mechanical work. When we say that some process converts matter into energy, what we actually mean is that the process converts some of the matter of a physical system into some smaller amount of matter, so that after the conversion the physical system has more energy than it had before the conversion. This is what a nuclear reactor does, for example. The point being that whether the process is hazardous depends on how hazardous the resulting smaller amount of matter is... Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 19:40
• Also, 100% conversion of matter into energy gives you substantially greater energy budget than nuclear fusion, which (if you're using hydrogen) transforms 0.71% of its fuel into energy. Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 0:59
• @jdunlop My idea is that while they have figures out how to unravel matter. The process isn't perfectly efficient. Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 13:19
• @Trismegistus - matter doesn't "unravel" in any meaningful sense. I assumed it meant "convert to energy, presumably mostly photons". If the process isn't efficient, a) how efficient is it, and b) what matter is left? Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 20:48
• @jdunlop it does. I trying to put thoughts in common speech,trusting that people would get the message. I see the "cymatic reactors" having power/efficiency of fusion reactors, with there advantage being they can utilize anything as fuel. Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 18:04

Direct matter to energy conversion, according to our physics, produces gamma radiation, which in itself is surely hazardous.

When the radiation interacts with matter it generates other potentially hazardous byproducts.

• Thanks for the succinct answer. Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 13:23
• This is not accurate. There is no law saying that converting mass to energy must result in gamma ray production. In fact, any ionic recombination process for example could be pedantically considered a mass to energy conversion (the inital ion+lone atom will have higher potential energy, thus leading to a very tiny decrease in mass as they recombine). It just so happens that nuclei have binding energies in the MeV range which is in the gamma range. But other processes could conceptually convert mass to energy in different ranges Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 15:44
• @BarbaudJulien I call the tech Cymatics because it was the closest one word term to what I was imagining. I could have called it a Destructive-resonance reactor. Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 18:20
• @Trismegistus "Destructive resonance reactor" doesn't make any more sense as a name, since resonance doesn't convert matter to energy, let alone produce gamma rays. Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 19:23

# It depends on how its done, and how much is converted.

1. Energy can have many forms, when we do matter energy conversion, we usually get heat and radiation as the energy, which certainly can be hazardous. If your, more advanced, civilization can more efficiently harness the energy in to less hazardous forms, then it could be less hazardous.
2. There's also the argument that there is a lot of energy stored in matter, and releasing a lot of energy is going to be dangerous no matter what form the energy takes.

In the end, it all comes down to control. If you can control how the energy comes out and how much matter is converted (controlling how much energy is there), then you can be safe, but it's tricky for us to do it, but maybe your advanced civilization has worked that out. Just like we've worked out that we can fly around the earth in jet airplanes safely, even though for a less advanced society it would be very hazardous.

• My idea was that the civilizations had this one key breakthrough. At present it is about as good fusion, with bonus of being able to use anything as fuel. Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 13:21

If they have the technological acumen to do something impossible they probably can deal with minor problem of radiation.

You are asking if your imaginary impossible technology has specific physical effects. Why? How would anyone know?

Your advanced civilization has a very efficient safe power source. Completely believable.

• When truth is stranger than fiction, go with truth. While the mechanism is fictional,matter to energy conversion is not. Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 13:24
• There is no truth though. Cymatics can't be used to convert matter to energy. It is impossible technology with unknown properties. It doesn't get any stranger than that. Moreover, your statement is a just a pointless slogan. "If" and "then" parts are not logically connected in any way. It's "if <some nonsense> then <some other nonsense>". I am amused that you think it explains something. It's just a cringy edgelord pothead crazy talk. Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 19:16
• What a dreary and literal mind you have. Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 17:53