My *nix world

Understanding E=mc2

Even if physics was never the centre of my interest, I was always eager to understand "why" and "how" the world works as we know it does.

Over the time I understand more and more what is the value of a good teacher. I was in the school, of course, I got my education, but somehow it seems that the teachers that I had were never able to explain in easy words either "why" or "how".

These days I got the answer that I was looking for, maybe only partially, and it turns out that Einstein's equation E=mc2 represents the answer for the "why"- question.

The people from the SBS have made a wonderful documentary called "Einstein's big idea". It takes you from the beginning, when Emilie du Chatelet has discovered that the Leibnitz calculations about the kinetic energy were correct and not the Newton ones, that is E=\frac{1}{2}\cdot mv^2 (because they applies only at speeds v that are less than 10% of speed of light - the c from Einstein's equation), or later, when Lavoisier have been determined that nature is a closed system, when he have demonstrated with an experiment that in any transformation, no amount of matter(mass) is ever lost and non is gained. From general theory of relativity we know that mass(matter) and energy is equivalent. The movie goes even further, when Faraday define what we know as electromagnetic induction.

All these contributions to physics and chemistry had led Einstein in 1905 to that equation what we know today as E=mc2 (albeit the correct formula should be written as  E=mc^2).

Einstein's equation and the work of a team formed by the scientists Lisa Meitner and Otto Hahn have led later to what we know it as nuclear fission (a bright but a bad idea!).

So here is the movie:

Thank you Einstein for unveiling the world so as we can see it as it really is. Now I understand E=mc2 and more important why and how. Check my Fysik category (written in Swedish but Google Translate does a good job nowadays) where I approached the theoretical part of the theory of relativity and the photoelectric effect (this is what the Einstein have got the Nobel for).

Now, if you think that this article was interesting don't forget to rate it. It shows me that you care and thus I will continue write about these things.

 
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Understanding E=mc2

Eugen Mihailescu

Founder/programmer/one-man-show at Cubique Software
Always looking to learn more about *nix world, about the fundamental concepts of math, physics, electronics. I am also passionate about programming, database and systems administration. 16+ yrs experience in software development, designing enterprise systems, IT support and troubleshooting.

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