Chapter 16
Einstein Slighted
HERE IS question 54 in Science. It is listed as belonging to chemistry and its degree of difficulty is said to be "average."54. The burning of gasoline in an automobile cylinder involves all of the following except
A. reduction
B. decomposition
C. an exothermic reaction
D. oxidation
E. conversion of matter to energy.

The average chemistry student quickly picks the wanted answer E, doubtless arguing that conversion of matter into energy refers to nuclear reactions and is thus inappropriate here.

But the student who is unfortunate enough to understand, even if only in an elementary way, what E = mc 2 is really about finds himself at a distinct disadvantage. He knows that in certain nuclear reactions energy is released through the breaking of nuclear bonds. He knows too that in the burning of gasoline the energy released comes from the dissociation of chemical bonds, that these chemical

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