Einstein’s famous equation, E = mc2, describes how energy is produced in the core of the Sun. For each fusion cycle, 4 hydrogen nuclei go in, and 1 helium nucleus (2 protons, 2 neutrons) comes out of the process. Which statement correctly describes where the mass that is being converted to energy comes from?
The Sun radiates energy 24/7 and since mass and energy are equivalent, that mass is lost from the Sun’s surface.
The total mass of the 4 protons going in is less than that of the helium nucleus produced.
The gamma rays that are produced have the equivalence of mass because of their high energy.
The mass of the helium nucleus that is produced is slightly less than that of the sum of the 4 protons going in.