Monday, March 24, 2014

E = mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation

Albert Einstein's name will forever be linked with the famous equation E=mc2 equating mass with energy. It is perhaps one of the most quoted and widely seen physics equations in the public domain.

Yet contained in this short and concise equation is the heritage and ultimate destiny of our species. This equation expresses succinctly the process by which all the matter found in stars, planets, galaxies and people came into being. This equation expresses the very essence of cosmic history in a very brief and yet poetic phrase. For contained in this equation is the very essence of cosmic history and how in the span of fourteen billion years energy evolved into matter and matter evolved into life and consciousness. 

It explains how within the first three minutes of the big bang pure energy condensed into matter and later how, through the process of nuclear fusion, heavy elements were forged in the hearts of distant and massive suns. It’s the existence of these elements that make the existence of living things a possibility. Porpoises, petunias and people owe there existence to the laws of physics expressed and revealed within the expression E=mc2.

Today on Far Future Horizons we explore the historical and scientific antecedents of Einstein's work and meet the other men and women whose work helped lead to the Theory of Special Relativity.

Also add the book E = mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation by David Bodanis to your weekend reading list.

Einstein's Big Idea is available on DVD from PBS Home Video. 

E = mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation/Einstein's Big Idea

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    1. Many Thanks for sharing this Scientific American article. I really appreciate it.