Einstein’s E = mc2 Explained

E = mc2. It’s hands-down the most well known equa­tion out there. But how many have the faintest idea what the equa­tion real­ly means? Not too long ago, PBS’ NOVA put togeth­er a “docu­d­ra­ma,” called Ein­stein’s Big Idea, which took a close look at how Ein­stein arrived at the equa­tion and what it means. Along with the pro­gram, NOVA pro­duced some relat­ed media resources, among which you’ll find a series of pod­casts (iTunesFeedmp3) fea­tur­ing 10 top physi­cists (includ­ing two Nobel Prize win­ners) who briefly explain the mean­ing and impor­tance of E = mc2. In addi­tion, and per­haps even bet­ter, they’ve post­ed an audio clip of Ein­stein him­self explain­ing what the equa­tion is all about. You’ll find many good resources here, so have a good look around.

If physics intrigues you, you should also check out a new Stan­ford course that’s being dis­trib­uted for free via video pod­cast. The course, Mod­ern The­o­ret­i­cal Physics: Quan­tum Entan­gle­ment, is pre­sent­ed by Leonard Susskind, whom many con­sid­er the father of string the­o­ry, a con­tro­ver­sial inno­va­tion in physics that squares quan­tum the­o­ry with rel­a­tiv­i­ty and explains the nature of all mat­ter and forces. Now, when Susskind dis­cuss­es quan­tum entan­gle­ment, he is sure­ly get­ting into some heady, cut­ting-edge stuff. But the good thing is that the very pop­u­lar course was pre­sent­ed through Stan­ford’s Con­tin­u­ing Stud­ies Pro­gram (where I work, just to put my cards on the table), and was geared toward the gen­er­al pub­lic. The course is expect­ed to last a full year, and it should result in 30 free two-hour lec­tures, which will all be grad­u­al­ly post­ed online. You can find a more detailed course descrip­tion here.

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Comments (6)
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  • In my book, “Secrets of the Atom”, I show the deriva­tion of Ein­stein’s ener­gy equa­tion using clas­si­cal analy­sis and just five equa­tions! One of the equa­tions is a rather sim­ple mod­el of the atom that is based on the Bohr mod­el and elec­tro­mag­net­ic laws of physics. Read it and weep.

  • masoom subhani says:

    I want the deriva­tion of ein­stein’s famous for­mu­la E=mc2

  • F N QURESHI says:

    yar plz tell me accord­ing 2 equ ener­gy is con­vert­ed 2 mass­when an object is mov­ing wid da square of veloc­i­ty of light. how it can b pos­si­ble???????????

  • The answers to your ques­tions are found in my books,especially “Secrets of the Atom” and “The Birth of an Atom”. Yes, E = mc^2, and the equa­tions do work out for an elec­tron mov­ing at the speed of light in the hydro­gen atom. In fact, the ener­gy is equal to the so-called “weak ener­gy” of the atom.

  • A,Asghar says:

    i’m new to physics and this the­o­ry. please explain it to me in sim­ple words because i’m only 6 grade.

  • Charles Phillip Blacksmith says:

    https://www.facebook.com/reel/793560552157994?mibextid=9drbnH&s=yWDuG2&fs=e. Check my work. I know it’s an math equa­tion but I see things dif­fer­ent . The equa­tion is in my art­work. The equa­tion is our whole sys­tem. The alpha­bet go back to Socrates and his sons. Also Grimms Law of Lin­guis­tics the broth­ers. The Romans stud­ied Socrates and Aris­to­tle was based off it. Then Albert Ein­stein.

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