So a few weeks ago, I had this dream explaining particle decay to me.
Keep in mind that I am a computer expert and know of particle physics merely as a hobby, and that information derived from dreams is correct as the exception rather than the rule. I had a dream about remote observation of a physics experiment and in a key instant particle decay (the conversion of matter into energy that we use in nuclear reactors) was explained to me in a flash of two images. Anyway, here goes.
The first image was of two intact particles, likely something like protons or neutrons or electrons. We know that these particles are made up of quarks, which aren't really particles as much as little spins that make up the particle, which is both a particle and a waveform. My interpretation is that what we think of as matter or particle is in fact many different spins that come together coherently to produce a specific effect -- a sphere of influence of a specific set of forces we consider to be a "thing" because we can pick it up and carry it around, as it moves when we apply our own little spins into it's proximity. The reason these spinny matters are best explained by quantum physics -- the assumption that we cannot really know the internal state of a particle, but rather the probability of it being a certain way -- is because particles are all different and rapidly changing, we just happen to have decided to tell them apart by their external characteristics.The second image displayed the decay of particles, something we usually induce by smashing them together at high speeds (by the way I consider "smashing" a valid term in this context because each little spin also has a velocity and a distinct position regardless of it's otherwise completely alien nature) in either fission (nuclear reactors) or fusion. In this image I could see the once coherent spins forming the particle, becoming incoherent and moving out of position within the particle in different ways. My interpretation is that what we call energy, are in fact incoherent spins producing the array of disruptive effects we've grouped in the term energy. Particle decay therefore is simply the effect inducing incoherence amongst the spins, the spins break apart and what was once a coherent particle (matter) is now and incoherent splurt (energy).
I don't know if this is correct and you being an intelligent reader, you should probably take what I've written, compare it to other sources and see what makes sense and what does not. Some of it is probably pretty silly in just how wrong it is. I just thought this was a really cool way of explaining the phenomena and had to share.
It seems my subconscious does particle physics in it's spare time, who knew.