Skip to comments.That Famous Equation and You
Posted on 10/01/2005 8:10:18 PM PDT by GummyIII
DURING the summer of 1905, while fulfilling his duties in the patent office in Bern, Switzerland, Albert Einstein was fiddling with a tantalizing outcome of the special theory of relativity he'd published in June. His new insight, at once simple and startling, led him to wonder whether "the Lord might be laughing ... and leading me around by the nose."
But by September, confident in the result, Einstein wrote a three-page supplement to the June paper, publishing perhaps the most profound afterthought in the history of science. A hundred years ago this month, the final equation of his short article gave the world E = mc².
In the century since, E = mc² has become the most recognized icon of the modern scientific era. Yet for all its symbolic worth, the equation's intimate presence in everyday life goes largely unnoticed. There is nothing you can do, not a move you can make, not a thought you can have, that doesn't tap directly into E = mc². Einstein's equation is constantly at work, providing an unseen hand that shapes the world into its familiar form. It's an equation that tells of matter, energy and a remarkable bridge between them.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I'm not a nerd...I'm a geek-a-billy. Humph! ;-)
I have absolutely no intention of revisiting the theory of relativity approximately 15 minutes before I'm hitting the mattress.
I know...it'll keep you awake all night. Sleep well.
When you twist up a spring, it gets heavier. Cool.
I'm going to read it just so I can dream about it. Maybe it will make sense to me then.
This isn't true. When you drive your car, E = mc² is at work. As the engine burns gasoline to produce energy in the form of motion, it does so by converting some of the gasoline's mass into energy, in accord with Einstein's formula. When you use your MP3 player, E = mc² is at work. As the player drains the battery to produce energy in the form of sound waves, it does so by converting some of the battery's mass into energy, as dictated by Einstein's formula.I don't believe this is true.
Those are examples of energy changing form - from chemical to kinetic and from stored electrical to sound energy.
The energies are in addition to the rest state energy of e=mc^2 no matter to energy conversion required. If he wanted an every day example he could have used glowing dials in a tritium watch or a Geiger counter finding background radiation in a concrete building.
On the other hand, the guy is a professor of physics so maybe I am missing something.
Oh oh....since I'm female, let me suggest you don't laugh.
But I'm a morning person. I'm not in the mood to study at this time of night. See my temporary tagline.
Did you try to place it in the editorial sidebar?
"There is something about learning just before sleeping. It helps in the retention, for some strange reason."
Yeah, well, the flip side is I'm now staying up researching... I'm convinced the professor is wrong on several points.
Since I seldom post, I'm not sure...ahem. Perhaps a FRmail would help?
The exhaust gases have a very slightly smaller mass than the incoming air and fuel did (chemical). The car gains a very tiny amount of mass as it speeds up (kinetic). Because of that gargantuan c2 factor (speed of light squared) the mass lost or gained is far below the threshold of the ability of ordinary equipment to detect.
The "stored" energy manifests itself in the unrealized (potential) state as a tiny increase in the mass of the object in which it resides, compared to the masses of the constituent atoms making up the material. Combustion releases the "stored" chemical energy in the form of heat. If you compare the masses of all the combustion by-products to the original mass of the chemicals before combustion, some mass is missing, the amount missing is exactly equal to the mass equivalent to the energy released by the combustion process, as calculated by the formula e=mc2.
Oops. I thought this was the baseball thread discussing David Eckstein. Pardon me.
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