A Speculation on the fusion "mass defect"!
Frank Russo - September 03, 2010. (Revised December 27 2010).
It is commonly thought that some mass disappears as atoms are fused together in nuclear fusion and this is commonly known as the "mass defect".
Whilst of course there is some 'reaction' energy - be it radiation, heat or whatever - that gets emitted out, I believe that the intense gravitational pressure inside stars, fuses some space within the fusing of atomic nuclei !
In other words, the fabric of matter is somewhat diluted down, as matter aggregates and the universe grows like a fractal. I have not looked closely at the figures involved, but I would surmise that a dilution of matter is required to maintain a true relativity as the universe grows... this is because as things get bigger, the volume of an entity grows to a much bigger extent than the linear expansion does!
Basically in a nutshell, if 10 to the 40 atoms were to measure the width of a 'macro-atom', a sentient being in the next world up would only see a 'linear' relativity to our world if there is a "mass defect" operational as 'everything' grows. In other words, you need a "mass defect" for 10 to the 40 meters to equate to a physiological meter and for 10 to the 40 of our kilograms to equate a 'macro-kilogram' in the next world up!
Hopefully I have provided a great spark that might explain why we've had so much trouble developing energy from our fusion endeavours, thus far!