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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 can be derived from many different reactions, the most common of which are matter-antimatter reactions and nuclear fusion, though like matter, it cannot be created or destroyed. 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 1.8 e17×1017 joules of energy (180 petajoules).

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