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Energy is the measure of a physical system's ability to do work. Although quantifiable, energy is not an absolute but must be measured with respect to a reference energy level (kinetic energy, chemical energy, thermal energy, etc.). Energy for a starship's purposes could be derived from many different reactions, the most common of which were matter-antimatter reactions and nuclear fusion, though like matter, it cannot be created or destroyed. Therefore matter-antimatter interactions release energy. Obsolete means of converting energy include combustion and nuclear fission. An antimatter reaction is always calculated using Einstein's equation, E = mc2. In theory, the combined annihilation of one kilogram of antimatter with one kilogram of matter will produce 1.8e17×1017 joules of energy (180 petajoules).

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