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So now we come to The Famous Equation.

Of course we're referring to E equals mc

you may remember that Einstein's paper on
the Special Theory of Relativity in 1905
was published in June.
A few months after that, he published a
short note in September essentially
You remember that paper I published a few
months ago, well I've been thinking more
about some of the things contained in it.
Some of the implications and discovered a
very interesting relationship.
And that relationship essentially was E
equals mc squared.
Now unfortunately to, to really
understand this, to derive it in a, in a
sense, even sort in a hand waving since.
Would require us to spend a couple weeks
on concepts of energy and momentum and a
few things like that.
So, we don't have time to do that.
But want to just review a few key things
about it and bring a few of the, the key
concepts as, as well.
And we're going to start with the concept
of Kinetic energy.
All the way back in the 1700s, early
1700s scientists, they weren't really
scientists at that time, they were called
natural philosophers.
Were investigating things with how
objects move and collisions and things
like that.
And identified, had identified a certain
quantity that seemed to be very
And over time in the 1700's and to the
1800's, this quantity came to be known as
kinetic energy and had the form of one
half mv squared.
Where m was the mass, so you can imagine
a particle, a ball, a tennis ball
something like that mass.
And then v is velocity.
Okay, so we're not talking relativity
here, we're just talking everyday type of
And also along the way as this developed,
especially in the middle of the 1800s,
mid 19th century.
the idea of conversation of energy came
That there were different forms of energy
and you could transform one form of
energy into another form of of energy.
And so they developed those concepts a
little bit more as, as well.
And one key thing about this was that

they really focused on things like

kinetic energy.
And what happened when Einstein came
along in 1905 and, and came up with this
idea that energy, okay, of course here's
the famous equation, E equals mc squared.
So we see, just compared to this equation
for kinetic energy masses involved and
then there is an velocity squared
involved in each case.
This is just the regular velocity of an
This is obviously the velocity of light.
So there is some similarity between them
But really what Einstein discovered was,
not quite this equation, this is a
special form of the equation that he
What he discovered was, and we're
going to come back to see how it relates
to Conservation of Energy here in a
He discovered this, that energy is gamma
mc squared.
Okay, gamma mc squared, in other words
here is our familiar Lorentz factor
coming into play here.
And if we play around with this a minute.
Let's just remember, back when we were
talking about the Michelson-Morley
experiment, we used something called the
binomial expansion.
So we're going to bring it out of our
toolbox one more time here.
And remember it's this, if you have
something 1 plus x to the n, some
quantity x to the n power.
If x here, is much less than one.
Then we can write this as 1 plus nx,
approximately with that.
And so we're going to exploit that here
because, of course, gamma, so what we
have here is gamma, in our 1 form.
1 square of 1 minus v squared over c
squared there.
but let's write that in a slightly
different format, as we've done before.
We haven't done this recently, but before
we could write it like this.
We have 1 minus v squared over c squared
to the minus one half power, so that's
just gamma.
So if we've got the mc squared in here,
so we'll put that on the top.
Okay, mc squared over that.
So that's this times mc squared.
So again, this is just gamma, right here,
times mc squared.
And, and note that this has the form

because, especially if v is much less

than c.
So if our velocity is much less than the
speed of light.
And what do we mean by much less?
Well, even up to speeds like one tenth
the speed of light.
v squared over c squared, it's still
going to be a very small, very small
So we'll be able to expand this out and,
and put it in this form here using our
binomial expansion.
So if we do that, what this happens here
is we've got, okay, here's the exponent,
the minus one half is equivalent to the n
And I've got a minus here instead of a
plus, but it works the same way.
So, essentially, I'm going to have for
this part right here.
This becomes 1 minus, and then the minus
one half, and then, v squared over c
squared, and, times mc squared.
Okay, now remember this is an
approximation for when v, is much less
than c.
So up until about, up until about, one
tenth the speed of light, someplace in
that region.
So still pretty fast, compared to our
normal everyday experience.
And, so now we got a minus times a
negative one half, so that becomes a plus
one half.
And so we'll write this out one more time
So we've got 1 plus, one half v squared
over c squared times mc squared.
Now we're going to bring it back over
here in a minute here just to.
Looking a little bit better, okay, so
let's, this is how we got there.
Let's erase this part now, and say, okay.
So we've shown that gamm, gamma mc
squared can be written as.
We'll rewrite this here, 1 plus one half
v squared over c squared times mc
If, we'll just say if v is less than you
know, about 0.1c, something like that,
for low velocities in other words.
But let's look at this a minute, look at
what we've got here.
1 times mc squared, that's just equals mc
And I've got one half v squared over c
squared timed mc squared.
Well the c squares here cancel and I'm
left with plus one half mv squared.

That is Kinetic energy.

So that falls right out of this general
formula for in the low velocity limit.
Well what is this telling us.
Back before Einstein came along, people
would look at kinetic energy and other
forms of energy and would talk about the
conservation of energy.
What Einstein is saying with this
formula, is that there's another form of
energy right here too.
It's not only the kinetic energy that's
important, but this mc squared factor as
And note that if we just had v equals 0
here, then energy just as mc squared.
We get our famous form of the equation mc
squared here.
But what this is saying, going back to
conservation of energy, is that before
Einstein came along with this equation.
Then the idea was, well, sure, you have a
conservation of kinetic energy.
It could go into other forms of energy,
as well.
But no one really payed attention to, a,
the masses involved.
And what Einstein is saying, you know
what, you got the masses involved maybe
in something, you got some energy
You can actually convert in between them,
and still have the whole thing be
So that's what the implication of this
equation is.
That, in principle, you can take some of
the mass energy here, in a sense,
sometimes called the rest mass, or rest
Because if v is zero, you're just left
with the mc squared part here.
You can, you could potentially convert
some of this into kinetic energy.
Or you could go the other way as well.
As long you, if you convert some of this
it converts to this, if you have some of
that it can turn to that.
As long as energy itself, the total, is
conserved, does not, does not change.
And again we don't have time
unfortunately to go into to all the
details of this.
But essentially, what you get out of
this, what it leads to eventually are
things like nuclear fission and nuclear
fusion, fission and fusion.
So the idea here, [SOUND], Fission and
The idea is you can turn some just

ordinary mass, it's like it has energy

locked up inside of it, it's really a
form of energy.
If somehow you can liberate that energy,
you can turn that mass directly into
things like kinetic energy.
And, turns out in atomic realm, really
the, the nucleus of atoms.
Where the protons and neutrons are.
That, if you turn, say if you have your,
certain types of uranium.
The uranium nucleus can split apart.
And it turns out that if you add up the
components that are left with say, to
make it simple say, it splits into two
pieces versus the original uranium atom.
The new atoms, the smaller constituents
there have less mass than the uranium
atom did.
And therefore, where did, where does that
missing mass go, it turns into energy.
And that's really the idea of nuclear
fission, that you can split apart certain
atoms, certain nuclei.
And that releases the mass energy in a
sense, that's stored inside there.
Nuclear fusion goes the other way.
It turns out that for lighter elements,
say hydrogen, the lightest element.
If you fuse two hydrogen nuclei together
to create a helium nucleus, a few other
things involved here as well.
But if you create a helium nucleus out of
it, then and you look at it, the helium
nucleus actually has less mass than the
two hydrogen.
A nuclei that you use to, to put together
So again, where did the missing mass go?
It turns into energy.
And that's the whole idea of nuclear
You're fusing nuclei together in a sense.
And this is how the sun works, for
So, we're all here because of the sun, in
a sense.
And so we're here because of, of nuclear
Nuclear fission, was developed the idea
of it, the concept of it, over a number
of years, 1920s, 1930s.
Ended up developing of the atomic bomb,
or atomic energy in general.
In other words when you're liberating
energy like this, and if you think about
it, because c squared is such a big
It takes just a little bit of mass if you
can liberate the energy inside there, you

get a lot of like kinetic energy and heat

energy and other forms of energy out of
In fact just to give you a glimpse of it,
we all sort of have a general idea of the
destructive power of an atomic bomb.
It doesn't take a small bomb to level a
city and things like hydrogen bombs.
Which are based on nuclear fusion
actually have even more power than that
In terms of more peaceful uses of it, for
If, somehow, you could liberate all the,
the energy contained in a mass of, of
just three kilograms, okay?
So that's, you know, not, not much mass
if you could do that, if you could turn
that all into energy.
You could power a city with a 100,000
inhabitants for a hundred years.
A city of that size 100,000 inhabitants
needs a generating station, an electrical
generating station of about 100
megawatts, a 100 million watts.
And therefore just three kilograms of
Again if you could liberate all the
energy inside there, will power up a city
for up to 100 years.
Now nuclear fission nuclear fission
you're just liberating just tiny amounts
of the mass energy available.
But your getting a lot of energy out of
it even in those cases.
Now you might ask going back to Einstein.
what was his role in especially the
atomic bomb, because you may know that he
wrote a famous letter to president
Franklin Roosevelt in the United States
alerting the president to the fact that
scientists had recently discovered
nuclear fission.
Atually so this was in the early 1930's
right around 1930.
And the possibility of either a
controlled nuclear reaction, or even an
uncontrolled nuclear reaction using
nuclear fission.
That would release incredible amounts of
energy in a, in a bomb, was feasible.
So, beyond that, though, Einstein really
didn't play much role in, in the
development of it.
he, he was asked to write the letter by
some of, the other scientists involved
who were very concerned about this.
And because his name had cache as it
will, as it were he could get the

attention that the powers that, that be.

They approached him to, to write the
Beyond that letter he really played no
role at all in the development of the
atomic bomb and the Manhattan Project
during World War Two in the United
So that's Einstein's role in that.
Certainly in a sense it all does go back
to the E equals mc squared equation.
The idea that there's an incredible
amount of energy stored in regular,
ordinary matter, if we can liberate it
and, in some sense there.
one other point to make here, about E
equals mc squared, gamma mc squared, and
the like.
Is that, we've talked before, about
invariance, and the fact that really, a
better name for perhaps the, the special
theory of relativity would be
Not the theory of relativity but the
theory of invariance.
Because one of the key invariant
quantities is the speed of light.
or, actually, technically, it's the speed
of massless particles.
But we'll just say, the speed of light,
No matter how you're moving with respect
to somebody else in respect to a light
You will always measure the speed of
light to be, to have the value, c.
So we talk about invariance.
And turns out that in 1918, so just a few
years after the miracle year of 1905.
And even just a couple years after
Einstein introduces general theory of
A mathematician named Emmy Noether, whom
Einstein considered one of the greatest
mathematicians ever.
She published a very famous theorem, that
essentially ties in, tied invariance in
to this idea of conservation of, of
And she, she was able to show that other
quantities, like if you think about just
if we move from here to there, that
doesn't change the laws of physics.
That's called translational invariance.
So we can talk about translational
That if I move from here to there, I do
the same experiment.
If I do an experiment here, I do an
experiment there.
I should, you know, shouldn't get

anything in terms of my answers, assuming

everything else is equal there.
In other words, where you do the
experiment in the universe shouldn't
Again assuming the other conditions are
So that's translational invariance and
out of that Noether showed that the
concept of conservational momentum came
out of that.
Again Momentum is beyond our course but
just the idea of translational invariance
is connected up with this idea of
conservation of some quantity.
This case, conservation of momentum.
Another idea is rotational invariance.
If I, as I turn from side to side, or
point in that direction, versus that
direction, or maybe versus that
I should get the same results.
So that I have rotational invariance of
the laws of physics, in some very general
And that leads to the concept of
conservation of angular momentum.
In other words, in order to show that
these were equivalent concepts.
If you have rotational invariance, you
get conservation angular momentum.
And then, finally, back to the
conservation of energy, to show if you
have invariance through time, you know,
time like invariance in a sense.
That connects directly with the idea of
the conservation of energy.
So, if the laws of physics are the same
through time and of course time and space
time are the key concepts underlying the
special theory of relativity.
And later the general theory of
Noether showed that this the concept of
time and moving through time.
Whether I do an experiment now or ten
minutes from now or two years from now
Again, other things being equal, that
leads directly to energy being
conserved., okay?
So, in a really deep sense, this all
hangs together.
If you really start pushing it down in
the depths of some of these concepts.
You see that we're not just talking about
you know, sort of time dilation and
things like that.
But we're, we're talking about the
foundations of Of the universe itself,
and how it's put together, and, and how

it works.
So, those are just a few words about,
again, right, The Famous Equation, most
famous equation, E equals mc squared.
Again, the, the real form of it coming
out of relativity is E equals gamma mc
And we showed that out of that you can
sort of get the, the regular form of
kinetic energy.
But you really, then learn about this
concept, or see this concept that, that
mass itself has energy stored in it.
That mass, matter, and energy are
equivalent in some sense and can be
turned from one form into another.
And then in cases in like nuclear fission
In nuclear fusion release huge amounts of
energy potentially.