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E=mc^2 is not einstein discovery

E=mc^2 is not einstein discovery

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E=mc^2 is not einstein discovery
E=mc^2 is not einstein discovery

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Published by: api-3771959 on Oct 16, 2008
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E= mc2 is Not Einstein\u2019s Discovery
Robert A. Herrmann
(9 SEPT 2000. Revised 1 JAN 2004)
1. Introduction

It appears that some scientists have not received the proper credit for signi\ufb01cant dis- coveries for which they have priority. However, without speci\ufb01c and irrefutable information, it is not possible to give convincing reasons why these individuals are denied recognition and why others are given credit for their scienti\ufb01c discoveries. In 1996, I was asked whether Einstein or Hilbert originally formulated certain aspects of General Relativity. (Hilbert presented the gravitational equation(s) prior to Einstein.) The questioner said that he knew very little about Einstein\u2019s achievements except for such things as \u201cE =mc2.\u201d I answered his question relative to the Hilbert verses Einstein controversy but neglected to discuss the more easily explainedE =mc2. What follows shows exactly who developed the

ideathat \u201cradiation\u201d can be characterized as having an apparent mass and that it is not
Einstein in his 1905 paper. Except for the last remarks on Olinto De Pretto, this article
is concerned mostly with \u201cradiation\u201d and its relation toE =mc2.
2. H. Poincar\u00b4e

In a 1920 (16) and repeated in a 1933 publication (17), W. Pauli (1945 Nobel - Physics) wrote relative to an example he gave that depends upon the notion of the \u201cmomentum of radiation\u201d that \u201cThis example is especially of interest, because Einstein with its help derived for the \ufb01rst time [(1905) paper referenced] the principle of the inertia of energy as a universal law.\u201d As is shown below, this statement relative to Einstein\u2019s 1905 paper is false.For this physical scenario, the actual meaning of theE =mc2 is that it represents the

mass gained or lost under absorption or emission of radiant energy of value E. Jules Henri Poincar\u00b4e (1854-1912), in 1900 (20), considered an expression for what he calls the \u201cmo- mentum of radiation\u201dMR . It isMR =S/c2, whereS represents the \ufb02ux of radiation and

cis the usual velocity of light. He gives an example, using the conservation of momentum

in a recoil process. He usesm for the mass of the recoiled object andv its velocity. He then usesS =Ec, whereE is the energy of radiation. He letsE = 3\u00d7 1013 ergs,m = 103 grams, andc be its usual value and calculates that the recoil velocity must bev = 1. This Poincar\u00b4e calculation is expressible in the formmv = (E/c2)c. From the viewpoint of unit analysis,E/c2 takes on the role of a \u201cmass\u201d number associated with radiation.


A way to arrive at this relation, by means available at that time, is application of the action-reaction principle and the basic Maxwell formulaF = (1/c)dE/dt for the force exerted on an absorbing body caused by receiving electromagnetic radiant energy at the rate ofdE/dt. Relative to the object reacting to this energy, one also has that the force is the rate of change of the momentum added to the object. By the conservation of momentum, this is equal in magnitude, if not yet having signi\ufb01cant physical meaning, to the momentum associated with the radiation. ThusdMR /dt = (1/c)dE/dt\u21d2 MR = (1/c)E +C, and, under the obvious initial condition in the problem,C = 0. Hence,MR =S/c2, where

S= Ec.

Essentially embedded in this Poincar\u00b4e expression is a fundamental radiation result. SinceMR = (E/c2)c =E/c, whereE/c2 is a \u201cmass\u201d term, it might immediately be claimed that the radiation has an \u201capparent mass\u201dmr. Under this claim, usingMR =mrc, then

mr c2= E.

Poincar\u00b4e speci\ufb01cally recognizes this association, but associates it with a possible dif- ferent e\ufb00ect rather than with an actual \u201cmass\u201d increase or decrease for the object in question. His view is that for \u201cElectromagnetic energy . . . behaving like a \ufb02uid endowed with inertia, one must conclude that if any apparatus whatever, after having produced electromagnetic energy, sends it by radiation in a certain direction, the apparatus must recoil like a cannon which has launched a projectile. . . .\u201d (20). This is not exactly correct since it\u2019s based upon a 1900 point of view. This Poincar\u00b4e statement needs a slight modi\ufb01cation since any expression that equatesMR to anything must depend upon the application of the radiation. The derivation given above is relative to the force on an \u201cabsorbing body.\u201d

If certain accurate experiments conducted from 1887-1902 on the photoelectric e\ufb00ect were known earlier, then for such scenarios Poincar\u00b4e may have noticed that recoil is not the e\ufb00ect and maybe he might have speculated relative to kinetic energy. This does not inval- idate the \u201cmomentum of radiation\u201d concept as presented by Poincar\u00b4e. Planck\u2019s notion of \u201celectromagnetic energy elements\u201d (18) had not as yet been presented. Using Planck\u2019s no- tion of energy elements, one might conclude that if only such elements are considered, then the momentum of recoil is broken into something like \u201cinstantaneous\u201d discrete momentum elements, where each would probably need to be the maximum momentum,MR =E/c, produced by a single energy element.

In 1900, the idea of the measure of mass was that it is \u201cindicated\u201d by \u201cinertia,\u201d which was the \u201cquality\u201d or \u201cproperty\u201d of matter. The resultmr c2 =E relates such radiant energy to an inertial mass. However, an inertial measure was also viewed as a \u201cquantity\u201d


of matter as originally de\ufb01ned by Newton. This measure could not be altered by anything not itself considered as matter due to the principle of the \u201cIndestructibility of Matter.\u201d At that time, Poincar\u00b4e believed that thismr is there in the object but in a \u201cdisguised\u201d form yet to be discovered. If one does not follow this 1900 prevailing notion, but follows the \u201cabsorbed\u201d notion for the derivation and believes totally in the additive properties for measures of mass, then, in a non-recoil sense, it can be deduced that the object must have \u201cconverted\u201d a certain amount,mM , of its mass intomr . (This, depending upon your viewpoint, is also inertial mass.) Such \u201cproofs\u201d as just given are, usually, stated as being \u201cessentially\u201d contained in the material used. Hence, for radiation,E =mM c2 is essentially a Poincar\u00b4e result that would lead to a new interpretation for quanta of electromagnetic energy. Poincar\u00b4e, at this time, does not go this far, for he considersmr as a \u201c\ufb01ctitious\u201d mass.

3. F. Hasen\u00a8

In 1904, Hasen\u00a8ohrl (10) speci\ufb01cally associates the mass notion via inertia with the en- ergy concept. He investigates a system composed of a hollow enclosure \ufb01lled with \u201cheat\u201d radiation and wants to determine the e\ufb00ect of pressure due to this radiation. His calcula- tions lead him to conclude that \u201cto the mechanical mass of our system must be added an apparent massmu = (8/3)E/c2,\u201d whereE is the energy of the radiation. (This is the \ufb01rst derived mass-energy \u201cconversion\u201d statement related toc2.) Later in a paper (11) [Received 26 Jan., presented 14 Mar.], he re-calculates this result and arrives atmu = (4/3)E/c2. Hasen\u00a8ohrl indicates that if the internal energy of a system consists of radiation, then, in general, the inertial mass of the system depends upon that energy. This is in accordance with his calculation. Thus, this new Hasen\u00a8ohrl\u2019s calculation establishes that due to the radiant energy,E, contained in his system, that to the inertial mass of his system must be added an apparent massmu. Indeed, in 1914, Cummingham (1, p. 189) shows that Hasen\u00a8ohrl made a slight error in that the shell is not included in his calculations. If the shell had been included, then the factor would be 1 ormu =E/c2.

4. A. Einstein

In the same journal where the Hasen\u00a8ohrl article appeared and exactly two issues later, (4) [Received 27 Sept., presented 21 Nov.]), Einstein presented a derivation using a two- observer approach and his Special Theory of Relativity that mass would be diminished byE/c2 when it gives o\ufb00 radiation with energyE. This Einstein paper is an attempt to continue to popularize his Special Theory approach to such problems where the Spe- cial Theory, with a few applications, is presented in the previous issue (3) entitled \u201cZur Elektrodynamik bewegter Korper\u201d. It\u2019s interesting to note that the title of this second


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