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A few questions for Aschlafly regarding the experiment of Cockcroft and Walton

More than two years ago, I posed the following questions for Andy Schlafly to answer. I'd still appreciate an answer by him, making my wait worthwhile.

1. Do you accept that the mass of the Lithium-kernel (7Li), of alpha-particles (4He) and of protons (1H) can be measured fairly accurately, as these are charged particles?

2. Do you accept the measurements for the mass of the particles as used by Cockcroft¹ and Walton, i.e.

particle mass
1H 1.0072 amu
4He 4.0011 amu
7Li 7.0130 amu

If not, which values do you think to be right?

3. Do you agree that before the reaction the mass of the particles involved was 8.0202 amu?

4. Do you agree that after the reaction the mass of the particles involved is 8.00220 amu?

5. Do you agree that there is a mass decrease of 0.0180 amu?

6. Before the experiment, the Li was at rest and the proton had a kinetic energy of less than 1MeV. Do you accept these values?

7. After the experiment, a pair of alpha-particles was observed, both having an kinetic energy of 8.6MeV. Do you think that this value is correct?

8. Can you tell me where the mass went? Can you tell me where the energy came from?

9. If your answer to question 8. is no in both accounts, than my answer is that there is a theory which explains the conversion of mass to energy, even if you don't like it!

--AugustO 06:33, 23 June 2014 (EDT)

The list of administrators of Conservapedia includes User:RSchlafly ("I'm related to Andrew Schlafly") and User:PhyllisS ("Phy Schlafly"). Both are knowledgeable about this stuff. Why don't you get their input on this article? And could you please answer the questions above? --AugustO 17:50, 23 July 2014 (EDT)

Another five months later, still nothing. --AugustO 07:42, 21 December 2014 (EST)

Robert Dicke

I want to revisit the statement: For example, Robert Dicke, perhaps the greatest physicist of the 20th century, was denied a Nobel Prize because he doubted the Theory of Relativity.

  • "perhaps the greatest physicist of the 20th century" - according to whom?
  • "was denied a Nobel Prize because he doubted the Theory of Relativity" - where is the evidence for this claim?

--AugustO 15:30, 20 February 2015 (EST)

  • Read also the article of Robert Dicke: "Indeed, Dicke should have won the Nobel Prize for one of his many other achievements also (such as his laser work), but was similarly denied recognition." --JoeyJ 06:56, 21 March 2015 (EDT)
Thanks, I looked into it. --AugustO 06:22, 22 March 2015 (EDT)

E=mc² is regularly tested, using the best equipment available

Take for instance the National Institute of Standards and Technology's summer-school of 2009, which allows grad-students and junior faculty to get their hands on their newest equipment: Here, NIST-physicist Maynard Scott Dewey shows how this can be used to test the equation E=mc² directly ("Neutron Binding Energy Measurements for a Direct Test of E=mc²" (pdf)) - and with a very good precision.

So, the formula is tested time and time again, it is regularly used by many physicists and engineers, regardless of the political position. That makes more than "liberal claptrap"... --AugustO 08:28, 18 March 2015 (EDT)

Mass is a measure of an object's inertia, in other words its resistance to acceleration. In contrast, the intrinsic energy of an object [...][has] nothing to do with gravity.

This juxtaposition is very painful: Why should it by problematic that the "intrinsic energy" has nothing to do with gravity, when the first part talks about the object's inertia? Where is the "contrast"? --AugustO 08:34, 18 March 2015 (EDT)

Taking out redundant sentence

I have taken the liberty of restoring (almost exactly) my version of 21:14, 8 June 2015. The previous version had what was essentially the same sentence twice, consecutively. It said:

However, it is impossible for anyone pursuing an academic career in science to even question the validity of this equation.
Political pressure, however, has since made it impossible for anyone pursuing an academic career in science to even question the validity of this nonsensical equation.

This can't possibly be what you wanted. The version I left in was the second one, with "Political pressure", and "nonsensical". I disagree with "nonsensical", but it's your website. I agree with the near-impossibility of anyone doubting this equation to successfully pursue an academic career in science, though probably for the reasons you think.

But I have taken out the word "since". It makes no sense in the current context; it may have made sense in an earlier context.

Now it's true that the longer intro paragraph was more "full", but that's only because it had the redundant sentence. I think the intro that I have left is full enough. It has "nonsensical", and it has the famous "claptrap" sentence. This must be the intro that you want. OK? SamHB 00:47, 11 June 2015 (EDT)

You did more than just that. VargasMilan 23:47, 11 June 2015 (EDT)

Change the article

As it stands, the article itself is confusing. Items of info were placed in a haphazard manner, without regard to structure or flow. Try re-doing it this way, in the following order:

Do a simple statement to introduce the subject in the first paragraph.
Describe in detail what it is, and what it supposed to do.
Describe the history of it, who first postulated it and why; who else seconded it.
Describe anything that successfully uses it, confirms it, and so on.
Describe anything the rejects it, criticisms of it, proof that it is wrong, and so on. It could be proof that it is wrong only in specific applications where it was tried and failed. Karajou 00:00, 15 June 2015 (EDT)

People don't own formulas

No, they don't. But since the time of Pythagoras, certain formulas, laws, and theorems are associated with certain people (not always correctly). While Einstein doesn't own E=mc², it is his formula. --AugustO (talk) 02:59, 6 August 2015 (EDT)

What about Friedrich Hasenöhrl? Why doesn't he get any credit? It's not like he's lost in the mists of history. VargasMilan (talk) 15:47, 6 August 2015 (EDT)
Same reason that Tartaglia isn't credited for Cardano's method: history isn't just (and people like easy names). --AugustO (talk) 16:08, 6 August 2015 (EDT)

PBS's absurd statement

Would anyone like to defend the absurd statement by PBS that:

it's almost as if the ultimate energy an object will contain should be revealed when you look at its mass times c squared, or its mc².

--Andy Schlafly (talk) 14:01, 8 August 2015 (EDT)

I agree with you - I don't think that this way of trying to make the formula plausible works.
BTW: while we are posing and answering questions - what about #A few questions for Aschlafly regarding the experiment of Cockcroft and Walton? I'm still waiting for your answer! --AugustO (talk) 17:53, 8 August 2015 (EDT)

The PBS statement quoted above, with it's "ultimate energy" stuff and "will be revealed" stuff, is indeed rather stupid. That whole section needs to be cleaned up. But you need to be aware that this equation, like it or not, claptrap or not, correct or not, experimentally verified or not, theoretically proven or not, looms very large in the public's consciousness. (And I might add, the name of Einstein is widely associated with it, which is the point I made recently that you reverted.)

Most of what the public knows about it is ludicrously oversimplified and just wrong. The popular notion that I find most overwhelmingly stupid is the business about "it unlocks the secret of the atomic bomb". But the other quotes are nearly as bad.

The "Description for the layman" section and the immediately following "Popularization of E=mc²" are really just a synopsis of this foolishness. I think that material needs to be in the article, but put into perspective as oversimplified popularization. I don't agree with the edit comment "this is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid. Phrases like 'universally connected in the public's consciousness' are non-encyclopedic, and speculative at best." The public's consciousness of this equation is an important part of an article about it, unless you are writing a serious scientific journal to be read only by scientists. We need to acknowledge that it's a "meme", and try to put that into perspective.

The "Description for the layman" section gives four popular quotes, out of an article containing ten quotes. Of the ten quotes, only one is actually lucid, straightforward, and factually correct; ane that is the one (not one of the four) by Sheldon Glashow. The others are what one would expect if you ask scientists to explain it for laymen.

Assuming that it's OK with you for the page to acknowledge that it's well known in society at large, I'd like to leave the "Description for the layman" section in, with a prefatory note that it is extremely widely misunderstood, and that attempts to explain it to the general public almost invariably fall flat. Then give four examples as before, but adding Glashow and removing Arkani-Hamed. I'd also like to leave in the reference to the PBS article, but choose a much better quote than that "ultimate energy" nonsense. And the "energy it carried would be proportional to its mass times 100 [that is, v] squared" stuff is just plain wrong. And stupid. And unhelpful.

So can you give me a couple of days to think about this? Unless you want the whole "E=mc^2 in the public's consciousness" material to go away, in which case I won't bother.

SamHB (talk) 21:42, 8 August 2015 (EDT)

In response to SamHB, I appreciate your thoughtful remarks, but I didn't put the PBS quotation in the entry. Someone else did (I'm not bothering to check who, and don't want to criticize anyone for it). Other quotations may be better, but it is important first to clearly state what the assumptions are underlying the formula. Does it work backwards by trying to conserve energy within the framework of the Theory of Relativity? If so, then the formula derivation really is circular, and the mass is not really a meaningful rest mass. Instead, the mass is something manipulated to try to conserve energy from different frames of reference.
I really think it's better to have a synopsis of the "pop-sci" garbage, and a debunking thereof, first, an exposition of what the formula means, its assumptions (they're really simple) second, and how we know it is true third. I know this is, on the face of it, a distasteful order, but the "pop-sci" stuff has so overwhelmed the public's consciousness that we need to address that first. People will be attracted to the article because the equation is so famous, not because they really want to measure isotopic weights. Technical details at the beginning will turn them off, and they will never get to the debunking that's really important. So, if it's OK with you, I'm going to clean up the "pop-sci" stuff first, and leave it at the front. OK? SamHB (talk) 14:12, 10 August 2015 (EDT)

In response to AugustO, I don't doubt that some experiments may by chance have results consistent with E=mc2, just as a broken clock occasionally has the right time of day. The challenge is to demonstrate the formula across a diversity of experiments and circumstances, which of course has not been successfully done.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 22:13, 8 August 2015 (EDT)
This seems to work for the mass defect of all elements - astonishingly accurate for a broken clock! --AugustO (talk) 10:20, 11 February 2016 (EST)

C is a constant, right?

Ok, I'm getting dizzy reading through all the attacks on this page. I'll ignore all them for now, and just say that as I understand it, "c" stands for constant, not the speed of light. I'm no scientist, so I will not try continue offering suggestions. I'll leave it at this: I don't know if the idea behind it is true, and I don't even know what the formula means. However, I believe it refers the energy contained in matter, since certain matter/energy conversions are possible. Can we try to refine this a bit to state what it is/is not, then state why some might not agree? It's up to all you who have made this page, but it seems to be one thing that everyone uses against CP, and from my limited understanding of the topic, I think I just might see why. --David B (talk) 14:26, 9 February 2016 (EST)
EDIT: Okay, my mistake, "c" is the speed of light. Still, though, this is a theory of the energy contained in matter. You burn wood, you get energy. Perhpas this is an accurate represntaion, maybe not, but at least it's not as bad off as I thought.--David B (talk) 14:38, 9 February 2016 (EST)

Can you be more specific about "all the attacks on this page" and "one thing that everyone uses against CP"? I'm not denying those attacks, but are you referring to all the attacks, from the outside world, against CP's pages on relativity (which you can get quite a lot of by Googling "Conservapedia+relativity")? Or are you referring to all the attacks on relativity by pages here at CP (such as the "liberal claptrap" reference)? Or are you referring to the apparent opposition between the part of this article above the table of contents and the part below?
AugustO and I wrote essentially all of the material below the table of contents. We put a huge amount of meticulous work into it. I believe it adequately explains things in terms that non-experts can mostly understand. We try to stay away from the kinds of imprecise statements about "energy contained in matter" that one finds elsewhere. Thinking in terms of "this is a theory of the energy contained in matter" is not a clear way of thinking about the equation. Do you find the presentation confusing? Or perhaps you find other articles confusing? Or you find contradictions among the various articles on the subject confusing? I want to make this article give a satisfactory explanation. Please let me know how I can improve it.
SamHB (talk) 16:45, 9 February 2016 (EST)
I was general by design as to where the attacks are from. Mainly, I see the from outside, on various IQ voids known as liberal blogs like this one [1]. However, there are some rather opinionated and strong words exchanged in this talk area as well. I guess I don't have any other advice, if this is the way you want to go with it. If I think of anything, I'll let you know.--David B (talk) 18:37, 9 February 2016 (EST)
Got it. Yes, the criticism and arguing within CP is absolutely dwarfed by the criticism from outside. I referred to that in what I wrote in the Community Portal: Conservapedia:Community_Portal#Two_millionth_page_view_for_the_.22Counterexamples_to_Relativity.22_page. That page appears to be a lightning rod for criticism and scorn, and the "cpmonitor" web site is just one example. Very few of those two million views are from people who agree with it—my survey of Google references got 8000 hits, of which 98% were negative.
The strong words that you see on this and other pages represent an attempt to fix the problem. There is no simple solution.
SamHB (talk) 00:16, 10 February 2016 (EST)
There is no unified theory of mass and electromagnetism. A century and many billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted looking for one. Yet some people cling to the implausible equation that pretends otherwise. Such false beliefs crowd out the truth, and I doubt there are many people who continue to read the Bible after falling for the falsehood of E=mc2.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 23:41, 10 February 2016 (EST)
Almost on cue gravity waves are discovered, a huge step in unifying gravity with the other forces.[2][3][4] As for the implausible equation, can you explain how a bomb weighing 4 tons managed to release the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT? The Bible, fine book that it is is not going to help when it comes to modern science. I accept there is some some foreknowledge contained in the Bible but there is certainly no scientific explanation which would help at all in modern study.--JamieVa (talk) 11:37, 11 February 2016 (EST)
Let's not reach for unwarranted conclusions. E=mc^2 was formulated in 1905 and experimentally verified around 1930; the gravitational wave announcement was only a few hours ago. These two phenomena are unrelated manifestations of relativity. Today's announcement does not confirm E=mc^2; it was confirmed long ago.
As far as unification of the forces, today's announcement does not bring us any closer to a unification of mass, electromagnetism, or anything else. Unification of gravity with the other forces involves then ongoing research in "quantum gravity", that is, gravitons. As Professor Thorne made clear in today's announcement, the discovery of gravitational waves doesn't say anything about gravitons. Of the three articles cited above, the BBC article suggests that gravitational waves may help in future research into quantum gravity, but that is all.
SamHB (talk) 14:49, 11 February 2016 (EST)
Does wave/particle duality not apply to gravitational waves? This is a genuine question as I don't know but if it does it must mean gravitons are there.--JamieVa (talk) 15:03, 11 February 2016 (EST)
No. Wave/particle duality is a phenomenon of quantum mechanics, that is, the physics of the very small. Gravitational waves are a phenomenon of the physics of the very large. Gravitons relate to quantum mechanics, that is, the very small. SamHB (talk) 15:08, 11 February 2016 (EST)
I need to correct myself. Quantum gravity, if/when it ever gets worked out, will presumably involve wave/particle duality for all waves, including gravitational ones. The hypothesized carrier particle is the graviton. Difficult as it was to observe the carrier particles of light (photons) after light waves had been known for hundreds of years, observing gravitons, from a wave motion that we can barely detect at all, will be vastly harder. No known or hypothesized mechanism could possible detect them. Notwithstanding that, the graviton is predicted to be massless and have a spin of 2. SamHB (talk) 15:18, 11 September 2016 (EDT)

Einstein’s Relativity and Relativism: Why Einstein’s theory of relativity is actually a powerful argument for absolute truth.

Please read the article Einstein’s Relativity and Relativism: Why Einstein’s theory of relativity is actually a powerful argument for absolute truth. Conservative (talk) 13:55, 11 February 2016 (EST)

I don't see how this relates to the equation E=mc^2. Is this connection between Evangelical Christianity and Einsteinian Relativity something that you want people to see? If so, I would suggest finding an appropriate main space (or essay space) page for it. A talk page, especially a talk page for an equation, doesn't seem to be the right place to publicize a profound insight on absolute truth. SamHB (talk) 15:12, 11 February 2016 (EST)
SamHB, you are being inaccurate and mischaracterizing the article.
For example, where does the article say there is a connection between evangelical Christianity and Einsteinian Relativity? It doesn't. You made that up.
The article merely resides at an evangelical website and says in the latter paragraphs that there is a basis for absolute truth and it mentions at the end of the article what the Bible says about creation/truth/etc. But that is not what the bulk of the article is about and you know this. You are being dishonest. In addition, there are plenty of groups within Christendom besides evangelicals who believe in absolute truth and believe that the Bible is the Word of God.
If you are going to respond to a talk page post, please do it more thoughtfully and with greater honesty. Conservative (talk) 15:51, 11 February 2016 (EST)
Cons, I apologize for what I wrote above. I did not read the article that you cited—I very rarely read articles that you cite on websites of that sort. I simply assumed that, if the website was at "", and is about relativity vs. relativism, and you put this on the E=mc^2 page, that it related to Evangelical Christianity and Einsteinian Relativity. That was an unwarranted assumption on my part. I'll take your word for it that the article was about absolute truth. And I agree with you that lots of people, not just evangelicals, support absolute truth. For example, I do.
But if you want people to see that article, I still think there are better places to cite it than here.
I'm sorry. SamHB (talk) 20:12, 3 September 2016 (EDT)
My apologies for assuming dishonesty/malice on your part rather than negligence on your part. Conservative (talk) 21:21, 3 September 2016 (EDT)
Fair enough.  :-) SamHB (talk) 00:02, 4 September 2016 (EDT)

Re: the Einstein picture

I don't pretend to be an expert on relativity but I know of someone who works with atomic clocks who indicates he uses the theory. I believe relativity is a valid theory.

Also, Einstein is associated with relativity and the quote is a nice quote. I restored the picture and caption. Conservative (talk) 14:56, 4 June 2016 (EDT)

Kaluza-Klein Theory

It says that no theory has ever unified gravity with electromagnetism. While not proven, Kaluza-Klein theory was developed decades ago and does exactly this. One other thing is that it says e=mc^2 cannot be derived from first principles. Could someone explain what is wrong with current derivations. Also this part doesn't seem to make any sense:

"The formula asserts that the mass of an object, at constant energy, magically varies precisely in inverse proportion to the square of a change in the speed of light over time"

I tried rewriting it, but it was reverted and my addition put in a footnote, so I'm guessing I misunderstood it. PeterHockey (talk) 09:07, 2 September 2016 (EDT)

Added a new topic

Just a couple of things. First unifying gravity and electromagnetism is not the same as unifying matter with light.

Also, further down it says that the energy of an atom has nothing to do with gravity. However, since both protons, electrons and neutrons have mass, there will be a gravitational component to the potential energy of an atom. Using an atom is a bad example, since the formula is talking about the energy associated with mass, and not talking about any other sort of energy. This is similar to how the formula for kinetic energy only tells us the kinetic energy component of a particle's energy, and says nothing about its potential energy. It would be better to talk about a sub atomic particle such as an electron here. Richardm (talk) 12:06, 11 September 2016 (EDT)

I'm trying to adopt a general policy, in science articles and especially relativity articles, that questionable statements go in the top of the article, above the table of contents, while non-admins try to make the part below the TOC correct. Do not worry about the discrepancy. Just edit the part below the TOC to contain correct information. Attempts by ordinary people (e.g. you and me) to "fix" the parts above the TOC can lead to being reverted or blocked. So I don't worry about the "liberal claptrap" sentence. I tried to take it out once, and got reverted. SamHB (talk) 15:08, 11 September 2016 (EDT)