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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    The sun [missing verb] 4 million tons of hydrogen per second

    The sun converts about 600 million tons of hydrogen into helium every second. However, about 0.6% of that 600 million tons is converted not into helium, but into pure energy, about 4 million tons of mass into about 1 zettawatt-hour of energy.

    I can't seem to find a verb that would refer to these 4 million tons converted into 1 zettawatt-hour of energy, in a standalone sentence, without further explanation required. All the verbs I've come up with, eg., consumes, fuses, transforms, sound ambiguous/confusing; I think I need a verb that I don't know yet. I want the reader to know that I'm referring to the conversion of mass to energy, not the conversion of one element into another. Do you know of a verb I could use?

    "The sun [missing verb] 4 million tons of hydrogen per second."

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The sun [missing verb] 4 million tons of hydrogen per second

    I don't think I understand what you're looking for. What's wrong with converts into?

    The sun converts 4 million tons of hydrogen into pure energy every second.

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    #3

    Re: The sun [missing verb] 4 million tons of hydrogen per second

    The are just two types of conversion - from one chemical element (H) to another (He) and from a gas to energy, as in burning of gas.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

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    #4

    Re: The sun [missing verb] 4 million tons of hydrogen per second

    The sun fuses 4 million tons of hydrogen into helium each second, releasing energy
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

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    #5

    Re: The sun [missing verb] 4 million tons of hydrogen per second

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I don't think I understand what you're looking for. What's wrong with converts into?

    The sun converts 4 million tons of hydrogen into pure energy every second.
    I don't want the red part. I'm trying to find a verb that would eliminate the necessity to add that information. Say, a verb that already implies conversion to energy.

    Converts requires adding "...into [product]", otherwise it can be easily misunderstood.

    I guess I could go with annihilates, since it's technically true, but that would require me to explain what I mean by annihilates earlier in the passage, so the reader doesn't confuse it with the non-scientific meaning synonymous with destroys, obliterates.

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    The are just two types of conversion - from one chemical element (H) to another (He) and from a gas to energy, as in burning of gas.
    Burns is bad. The chemical process of burning is not at all what I want my reader to confuse with what I want to say. In case of talking about nuclear astrophysics, there's also lithium burning (terrible name, but got stuck with it) that it might be confused with.

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbha View Post
    The sun fuses 4 million tons of hydrogen into helium each second, releasing energy
    I think that's straight up counterfactual. "Releasing energy" refers to what happens on top of the conversion of hydrogen into helium. So, "The sun fuses 600 million tons of hydrogen into helium, releasing energy," would be factual. I guess if I added "...4 million tons as..." between releasing and energy, I could roll with it. I think it's still confusing.

    "The sun fuses 600 million tons of hydrogen into helium, releasing 4 million tons as energy."
    Every sentence I come up with is confusing and easily misinterpretable, so I'd have to either use more words to explain exactly what I mean, or use more precise vocabulary that would eliminate the need for more words of explanation.

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