# Difference between revisions of "Talk:E=mc²"

E=mc^2 is only a simplified version created to be understood easier. If people had put dedicated effort for any amount of time, they could find the truth behind it. And "the bible says it's false" does not work, especially since the rest of the world completely agrees with the theory of relativity. http://news.discovery.com/space/the-famous-emc2-is-incomplete-gotta-see-video-121030.html

Beware of claims that the rest of the world completely agrees with something. Unanimously passed legislation is often the very worst kind.--Andy Schlafly 17:21, 16 December 2012 (EST)
But wouldn't unanimously passed legislation be a good example of the Best of the Public? Wonders 23:31, 8 January 2013 (EST)

## I'm Finding This a Little Hard to Understand

First off, E = mc2 describing a relationship between energy and matter is only one corollary. It is also part of a well known problem in chemistry... Or is isotopic mass not less than the sum of it's parts? The equation itself HAS been derived from the Theory of Relativity, and is a direct consequence of the energy momentum four vector for an object with 0-momentum. The quote you provide from the paper states that the theory is not enough for a rigorous PROOF, but it never tries to deny the derivability of the equation. Derivation and proof are two entirely different things.

Wow. Classic Andy. Unsourced statements supposedly contradicting well-established theories of physics. No real proof other than "the Bible says it's not true," even though this is an extremely uncommon interpretation Genesis. --AndreaM 01:06, 25 March 2012 (EDT)

It's a start for now, and will expand over time. That's how wikis work.--Andy Schlafly 01:18, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
Doesn't it relate energy to mass? The speed of light is just a constant here. IanR 02:22, 25 March 2012 (EDT)

## Humbug

The phrase meaningless, almost nonsensical, statement (as used in the article) fits the first paragraph to a t.

Aschlafly, please try to refute the explanation of the experiments of John Cockroft and Ernest Walton, which is accepted generally under physicists. And try to give some sources - or if not, some of your own calculations!

If not, just erase the first section.

AugustO 11:23, 25 March 2012 (EDT)

## Nobel Lecture

I took out the link to the Nobel lecture, it can be found in the short summary. But be aware that John Cockroft is using the dreaded formula with ease (but without stating so explicitly - why should he, it's already generally accepted!) An astute reader, who not only searches for the formula finds e.g., the formulation:

This energy could be provided by a diminution of mass of 0.0184 mass units.

Indeed, these are the ≈ 17MeV! AugustO 11:51, 25 March 2012 (EDT)

## Irrelevant claims

Are these claims of so called "experimental verification" valid or useful? If you look at enough so-called science you can find people claiming anything. --DavidEdwards 12:59, 25 March 2012 (EDT)

you can find people claiming anything Indeed - and that's why there is a difference between the unsubstantiated claims in the first section, and the actual experiments in the following paragraphs. If you have a good explanation of the outcome of these experiments (some math would be nice), feel free to add your personal claim.
AugustO 13:03, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
Why do you feel that I need to do that? I understand that you may wish to believe relativity is true, but that is no reason to impose your personal beliefs on others.--DavidEdwards 13:40, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
Thinking that all claims have the same validity seems not a very conservative position. I don't expect you to accept my personal beliefs, but there is a tendency in physics that the claims which are backed up by those willing to do the experiments and the maths have a greater following than random insights. AugustO 13:47, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
I don't understand why your personal beliefs are even included in the article.--DavidEdwards 13:58, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
• Because they are bolstered by experiments...
• ...and they aren't just my beliefs - in fact it will be very hard to find a physicist who doesn't share them. And that's something which shouldn't be easy to ignore in an article on a physical subject.
AugustO 14:02, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
If science is your religion then you will find scientists who share your views. I still don't see why they should be hosted here. The introduction makes the Biblical position clear.--DavidEdwards 14:07, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
Religion is my religion, science is my hobby. And just because there is one single interpretation of a few verses of Genesis out there which you think to contradict the experiments of the physicists doesn't shatter my religious beliefs nor my trust in physics. AugustO 14:35, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
Then why do you insist with this anti-religious pseudoscience?--DavidEdwards 14:41, 25 March 2012 (EDT)

← Now you have intrigued me: what's your definition of pseudoscience? AugustO 14:45, 25 March 2012 (EDT)

Pssst! DavidEdwards! You're trying waaaaay too hard. --JoshuaB 21:20, 25 March 2012 (EDT)

As far as the pseudoscience question is concerned - "science" which is used to promote a worldview which has no basis in moral reality is pseudoscience. Science which is designed to suggest that morality is relative clearly falls into this category.--DavidEdwards 18:40, 26 March 2012 (EDT)

## Question

This snipet of sentence appears in the introduction: "...a rigorous proof of the mass-energy equivalence is probably beyond the purview of the special theory." Let's compare that to the entire sentence it was lifted from: "Leaving aside that it continues to be affirmed experimentally, a rigorous proof of the mass-energy equivalence is probably beyond the purview of the special theory." One can't help but notice that the part of the sentence that states that the theory has been observed to be valid in real world experimentation, has been surgically removed. Why is this? Is it because it stands in contradiction to the claim the lead author of this article is trying to promulgate? --JoshuaB 20:55, 25 March 2012 (EDT)

Peer-reviewed journals won't publish a criticism of relativity. That's obvious. Although I don't have a copy of the full paper, I doubt it attempts to fully support the hearsay that was excluded, and I would not be surprised if it was included simply to safeguard against complaints for what followed. It adds nothing to the basic point that follows and is quoted here.--Andy Schlafly 21:19, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
Why won't a peer-reviewed journal publish a criticism of SR or GR? Liberal conspiracy? Also, do you not accept that mass and energy are interchangeable or is it a problem with this specific equation? --JoshuaB 21:24, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
JoshuaB, do you accept the possibility that the Theory of Relativity may be false, and would you approve a well-written paper that criticized it? It's a simple "yes" or "no" question.--Andy Schlafly 21:55, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
Yes. We already know the Theory of Relativity is an incomplete model of our universe. So yes, the theory may be "false", but the one that takes it's place will most likely have many of the same properties. Secondly, would I approve of a "well-written paper that criticized it"? I don't know what that means. I'm not a physicist, so I don't see what difference my "approval" of said paper would make. Now that I've been so kind as to answer your questions, would you return the courtesy and answer the ones I posted above? --JoshuaB 22:35, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
The qualifications on your answer render it almost meaningless. I'm not asking whether your approval of a paper would make a difference, or your opinion about whether you think the replacement of the Theory of Relativity will "most likely" be another theory of relativity. The question was simple and straightforward, referring to a paper critical of the theory of relativity without any appeasement to those who insist on believing in it. An unqualified answer is requested.
Also, did you ever answer my simple question on Talk:Main Page about how much time you've spent reading the Bible this month?--Andy Schlafly 22:50, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
Come off it Schlafly. This article is not about my Bible reading, is it? No. Does my opinion of the publishing criteria of physics academia have any bearing on the assertions you are trying make? No. Again: Do you not accept that mass and energy are interchangeable or is it a problem with this specific equation? --JoshuaB 23:11, 25 March 2012 (EDT)
Andy, do you accept the possibility that the Theory of Relativity may be correct, and would you approve a well-written paper or book that supported it? It's a simple "yes" or "no" question. --FrederickT3 03:28, 26 March 2012 (EDT)

## Some points

• Misplaced claims of experimental verification: if you want to put on the disclaimer misplaced, please explain the results of the experiments in another way.
• Why won't a peer-reviewed journal publish a criticism of SR or GR? But they do: remember the neutrino thing? Or the papers of H. Ives? In fact the first event has shown that especially the publication of experiments (seemingly) violating currently accepted theories gets attention!
• Taking only the second half of "Leaving aside that it continues to be affirmed experimentally, a rigorous proof of the mass-energy equivalence is probably beyond the purview of the special theory." makes you looking deceptive. Take the whole sentence and try to explain the motivation of the first half. Otherwise anyone who looks the quote up will suspect an ulterior motive!
• The whole first section is a train wreck.
• Mass is a measure of an object's inertia, and is directly related to the forces of gravity. Only when you accept the general theory of relativity it is, otherwise inertial mass and gravitational mass are quite different animals.

AugustO 02:46, 26 March 2012 (EDT)

I have attempted to clarify the last point on the Mass page, and also removed the fact template from the first paragraph, since the explanation is given later on. As it stood, the "citation needed" banners following important points tended to undercut the authority of the article.--CPalmer 08:29, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
The problem is not a confusion of weight and mass, but the conflation of gravitational and inertial mass. In the classical theory, there is no reason why both should be the same, it's just an experimental fact.
So, I'm sorry, your new entry didn't help.
AugustO 08:40, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
But they always are the same, aren't they? I don't see why knowing or not knowing the reason (yet) has any bearing on the question.--CPalmer 08:43, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
Aschlafly writes: Mass is a measure of an object's inertia, and is directly related to the forces of gravity. In contrast, the intrinsic energy of an object (such as an atom) is a function of electrostatic charge and other non-inertial forces, having nothing to do with gravity.
E=mc² isn't about gravity, to invoke it here is a deflection. AugustO 08:49, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
OK. But bear in mind that this page clearly exists to provide a counterweight to certain liberal views. To do that, clarity of message is needed, and a "citation needed" banner has a deflating effect on the strength of that clarity. So perhaps you could suggest a wording that might be acceptable without the "citation needed" bit?--CPalmer 09:03, 26 March 2012 (EDT)

No, I can't. Frankly, I don't see the clarity in this piece: at the moment, it is still sadly missing. So I hope, that Aschlafly taking care of the fact-tags (other then trimming them away) will add to this clarity! AugustO 09:13, 26 March 2012 (EDT)

## Examples of how meaningless E=mc² is: descriptions for the layman

Try to explain a complicated formula in 1-2min, then have a single sentence of this soundbit taken out. You can bet that this may sound meaningless. That's no fault of the formula. I'll change the title back. AugustO 09:58, 26 March 2012 (EDT)

The quotes (and others that could be added) illustrate how meaningless the formula is.--Andy Schlafly 10:02, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
The quotes illustrate how difficult it is to explain the concept to a layman. Take a look here, where you can find the quotes in context. AugustO 10:16, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
The quotes were solicited to describe the meaning of the equation to laymen, not to illustrate how difficult that is. The difficulty arises from the meaningless nature of the equation.--Andy Schlafly 11:01, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
Actually the meaning of the equation is very clear: the total energy contained in matter is its mass multiplied by the speed of light in a vaccum squared. Experiment after experiment, and nuclear reactor after nuclear reactor, has clearly demonstrated that the total energy released by a reaction is the lost mass multiplied by c2. Therefore whether the theories of relativity are true or not, E=mc2 is true. Equally, even if classical Newtonian mechanics was false, the kinetic energy of a moving mass would still be accurately described by Ek=1/2mv2. --SamCoulter 16:34, 28 March 2012 (EDT)
Indeed. Internet quotes are really not very useful. A skilled researcher can always find someone saying something to justify their position however bizarre or immoral. This is a typical weakness (and response!) of those who have no real moral or religious basis for their convictions. --DavidEdwards 19:04, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
These quotes are absolutely meaningless. It looks like you took random sentences from the PBS article and then inserted them into the article as if they had any real significance. This is made even more moot when you consider the fact that the article claims that "Ten top physicists were asked to describe in laymen's terms E=mc²" and then you go on to quote three. Not to mention, most of the quotes aren't actually explaining what the equation means - a basic understanding of algebra and what the symbols mean is sufficient to understand its basic meaning - but rather what it entails, its implications. Tim Halpin-Healy's quote I think is better than taking some random sentences and then implying that they mean that physicists don't know what E=mc² means. --Tyg13 15:58, 1 April 2012 (EDT)
The problem is that E=m2does not meaning anythimg that makes sense. Anyone is welcome to try to explain it here. Eating a pound of cake does not cause one's energy to increase by the speed of light squared.--Andy Schlafly 16:06, 1 April 2012 (EDT)
No, it doesn't. It causes your energy to increase by a number of foot-pounds equal to one pound times the speed of light squared. I've explained this to you already and it isn't difficult. --SamCoulter 16:23, 1 April 2012 (EDT)
The equation is essentially just a conversion ratio, its not difficult to understand that units of energy (Whether it is Joules, pound-foot, or erg) look essentially like a velocity squared times a mass (in SI units - kg m^2/s^2) this is not relativity or theory dependent, its the definition of Energy. The Special Relativistic analysis that results in the basic equation just determines that the conversion ratio is precisely that universal constant c in whatever units are convenient. There is no blindingly obvious or intuitive reason why this SHOULD be the case (conceivably the conversion ratio could have any number of complicated dimensionless constants in front), but basic mathematical logic allows us to derive this simple relationship from the postulates of Special Relativity. That being said, its a rather useless equation on everyday scales. In reality, after consuming a pound of cake your body begins to break down the chemical bonds in the sugars/fats/proteins to extract usable energy, about 1500 food calories worth of it. If you had a precise enough scale and could somehow keep a human in a hermetically sealed bag that prevents the escape of any moisture/gas etc. you would be able to measure that after consuming and digesting the cake your bodyweight would not be +1 lb, but about 70 pg (picograms - 10^-12 grams) less, so if you weighed 150.0lb and ate a pound of cake (total of 151lb), after digestion you would actually weigh 70pg less than 151lb. It is important to note that this "mass" isn't "lost" it is merely the "weight" of the energy stored in the chemical bonds, in other words in a pound of cake there is (1lb - 70pg) of stuff and 70pg worth of "chemical energy" with a conversion ratio of c^2. If you had some magic machine that could convert mass to energy at 100% efficiency the detonation of a body sized bomb would release 20 times more energy than the largest nuclear weapon detonated by man kind, however due to the nature of nuclear transitions/processes such a 100% conversion rate is not possibe . On the scale of nuclear bonds (order of MeV) this difference becomes conceivably measurable, but even so, in the detonation of a hiroshima sized nuclear weapon, the loss of mass due to the nuclear fission is approximately 500mg, the rest of the nuclear material is dispersed as fallout, considering that there was ~60kg of nuclear material in the weapon, this corresponds to an energy "efficiency" ~1%, which is typical of fission devices. In a 100MT nuclear bomb this is conceivably larger at nearly 5kg, and the fusion type weapon that can achieve this high yields has considerably higher mass-energy conversion efficiency at around ~20% DenisTR 16:53, 5 April 2012 (EDT)
Another way of thinking about is this. Consider your typical AA batery, it is not a difficult stretch of the mind to understand that this battery stores electrical energy, approximately 2Ampere-hours at 1.5v which is approximately 5000J worth of STORED electical energy. Now, CONSUMING this battery does not cause your kinetic energy to increase by 5000J the same way that consuming a pound of cake does not cause your kinetic energy to increase by 1lb*c^2, you are still limited by your ability to convert between different energy sources. So A RC car would be able to use that battery to move around for several hours, YOU on the other hand will most likely just pass the battery through your body and the basic chemicals that are storing this electric energy will come out unaltered. The same way that a pound of cake can sustain you for a day, but try stuffing it into the battery compartment of your RC car and it won't move an inch. "Mass-energy" works much the same way, sure consuming a pound of cake increases your "rest energy" or by an enormous amount, but in reality there is no way to convert mass directly to energy so its much the same as swallowing a battery or stuffing cake into the RC car. DenisTR 17:05, 5 April 2012 (EDT)
At any rate, eating a pound of cake, is not nuclear physics, it is chemistry, where your cells digest and utilize the sugars within. Protiens are also converted into sugar.JonM 18:28, 1 April 2012 (EDT)

## Aschlafly, could you give us...

... your interpretation of the results of the experiment by Cockroft and Walton? Cockroft describes in his Nobel Lecture how the kinetic energy of the alpha-particles could be provided by diminution of mass of 0.0184 mass units. (p. 170). Please take into account that this isn't about energy in form of electromagnetic waves!

If you don't address the results of the actual experiments, all your claims are just meaningless verbiage. AugustO 10:39, 26 March 2012 (EDT)

Cockcroft (please spell his name correctly) does not even cite E=mc2 in his Nobel lecture.--Andy Schlafly 11:01, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
You don't think that it is implied by the quote that AugustO provided? --FrederickT3 11:10, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
No, I don't. E=mc2 is supposedly a general truth of universal applicability. The case for it, if true, needs to be far stronger than what is quoted above.--Andy Schlafly 11:15, 26 March 2012 (EDT)

From the lecture: It was obvious then that lithium was being disintegrated into two α-particles with a total energy release of 17.2 million volts. This energy could be provided by a diminution of mass of 0.0184 mass units.

Aschlafly, your ignorance is showing: 17.2 MeV /c² = 1.602*10-19kg m²/s² *17.2 *109/(3*108 m/s)² = 3.0616 * 10-29kg = 0.0184 amu

In fact as this is such a general truth of universal applicability, J. Cockroft could take it for granted that his scientifically literate audience would be able to make this calculation. AugustO 11:26, 26 March 2012 (EDT)

One question, though: We have four protons and four neutrons on the left hand side of the equation, and four protons and four neutrons on the right hand side. So why the difference in mass?
Also, forgive my ignorance, but why is the 'energy' measured in volts? Volts are not a measure of energy.--CPalmer 11:40, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
• Bainbridge measured the mass of 7Li directly, using mass spectrometry.
• Indeed, three protons and four neutrons weight less than a 7Li - kernel
• Energy is measured in this cases in Electron-Volts. One electron volt is the energy of an electron which passed through a potential of 1 Volt.

AugustO 11:54, 26 March 2012 (EDT)

AugustO, please contribute something substantive instead of talking up a storm. Thanks.--James Wilson 11:56, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
James Wilson, please don't interfere in interesting and substantive discussions. Thank you! Baobab 12:12, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
"Baobab", please state what substance is coming out of this conversation. You have had a history of engaging in hefty talk. Please start contributing. I have had some great insights contributing in a few articles today and will continue to do so. Many thanks for your future contributions.--James Wilson 12:47, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
"James Wilson", AugustO is clarifying things and giving us some great insights, as CPalmer's latest reply shows. Discussions will often lead to better articles, which is why your interference was totally uncalled for. I guess your only motive was to defend Mr. Schlafly, but he can take care of himself and really doesn't need your help. Regards, Baobab 13:30, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
Thanks, AugustO. Relativity or no relativity, I am learning a lot from this discussion.--CPalmer 12:00, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
You are posing excellent questions! Indeed it should be of interest for Aschlafly, too:
Aschlafly, two protons (1.0073amu) and two neutrons (1.0087amu) have a combined mass of 4.0320 amu. An alpha-particle - existing from two protons and two neutrons - has a mass of 4.0015 amu. How do you explain this diminution of mass?
AugustO 13:42, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
What real evidence do you have that these particles even exist? No doubt you've read it in a book or some "qualified person" has said it is true. In reality you accept these things on the word of somebody else - in other words your belief in the existence of these particles is a matter of scientific faith in something which you have no personal knowledge. There is obviously no problem with believing things on faith, but please don't pretend it's "true because science says it's true". Christians get their real truth from a higher authority.--DavidEdwards 18:49, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
I find Mr O's position to be rather odd. He insists that Mr Schlafly - and only Mr Schlafly answers his questions. Yet at the same time Mr O steadfastly ignores comments specifically directed at him.--DavidEdwards 16:11, 28 March 2012 (EDT)
If you're referring to your question about how he knows that protons and neutrons really exist, I suspect he thought it wasn't worth answering. I tend to agree. --SamCoulter 16:15, 28 March 2012 (EDT)

@DavidEdwards: Sorry, DavidEdwards, I didn't want to ignore you. I hadn't caught up after the databank mishap, I'm afraid. So, to answer your questions: At school, we performed a couple experiments -there were teltron tubes, the Millikan the photo-electric effect, the Millikan Oil Drop experiment, de Broglie's electron diffraction experiments, etc. These experiments confirmed my persuasion that the electrons, protons and neutrons are physically real entities. The proposed theories explained these effects - and sitting in front of a computer, I'm surprised that you aren't willing to accept the theories behind semi-conductors. AugustO 16:25, 28 March 2012 (EDT) @SamCoulter: There is some truth in your statement, too: it's like asking a priest: let's talk about your religion without mentioning Jesus... AugustO 16:28, 28 March 2012 (EDT)

## Restoration

I could restore this page to the last version which I had edited. I don't know whether there were more entries. This should help to restore the article: perhaps one positive effect could be that Aschlafly marvels about the questions in the previous section for a while and rethinks his position! AugustO 18:36, 26 March 2012 (EDT)

## Instead of the source - tag

• E=mc² is a meaningless, almost nonsensical, statement in physics that purports to relate all matter to light.

It relates matter to energy, the square of the speed of light is just the conversation factor

• In fact, no theory has successfully unified the laws governing mass (i.e., gravity) with the laws governing light (i.e., electromagnetism).

It isn't about gravitational mass, but about inertial mass. To identify both means to invoke the General Theory of Relativity

• Simply put, E=mc² is liberal claptrap.

How so? It works!

• Biblical Scientific Foreknowledge predicts that a unified theory of all the laws of physics is impossible, because light and matter were created at different times, in different ways, as described in the Book of Genesis.

So, physicists should just give up looking for it? I dare to say that there are many Christian physicists - they may just not follow your special interpretation of Genesis! AugustO 09:29, 27 March 2012 (EDT)

## A few questions for Aschlafly regarding the experiment of Cockcroft¹ and Walton

I'd appreciate an answer by Aschlafly (and him alone) to the following questions:

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!

As this theory works for this experiment, and for all the other fissions and fusions, it isn't liberal claptrap, but a meaningful theory. And you can't blame physicists for using it! Of course, you can blame journalist to abuse the formula - but this isn't the result of liberal physics, but of bad reporting, as an abuse of the dictum 1+1=2 doesn't reflect badly on number-theorists, but only on the person misattributing it.

Thanks, AugustO 08:04, 28 March 2012 (EDT)

AugustO, chemical reactions can release energy, typically based not on the size of their mass but on the electrostatic energy prior to the reaction. Cockcroft's own paper accepting the Nobel Prize does not claim that his work proved that E=mc2. Undoubtedly many other experiments contradict the formula, or else we'd have seen far more claims of experimental verification of it.--Andy Schlafly 11:20, 31 March 2012 (EDT)

Aschlafly, you haven't answered any of the questions above! Instead you are talking about something completely different:

• We are not talking about a chemical reaction! You should know the difference.
• Cockcroft¹ claims that the energy comes from the loss of mass - and he calculates it according to E=mc². Please read (and understand!) his lecture.
• Please give a list of a few (or at least a single) experiment which contradicts the formula. This should be easy, as you stated that Undoubtedly many other experiments contradict the formula. Oh, wait, you made that up...
• Please answer the questions 1 to 9: all the question are covered in Cockcroft's¹ lecture, so I'd be interested in your explanation!

AugustO 11:32, 31 March 2012 (EDT)

AugustO, if you cannot even spell Cockcroft's name properly, how can Andy take anything you say seriously? --AndreaM 22:03, 31 March 2012 (EDT)

(1) : spelling of Cockcroft corrected AugustO 01:22, 25 April 2012 (EDT)

## Move

Could you please move this article to Essay:E=mc²? Then I could ignore all the misleading and outright wrong statements in the first section! Thanks, AugustO 15:57, 28 March 2012 (EDT)

## Experimental Facts

Aschlafly, on the one hand side, you state that no experiment distinguishes between "gravitational" and "inertial" mass - and that seems good enough for you. On the other hand side, you have a problem with the statement that E=mc² continues to be affirmed experimentally. Do you spot the inconsistency? Indeed, I could write: the equivalence between inertial mass and gravitational mass has never been mathematically derived from first principles in classical mechanics, indeed, a rigorous proof of this equivalence is probably beyond the purview of classical theory.

BTW, omitting the first part of the sentence "Leaving aside that it continues to be affirmed experimentally..." makes you look very disingenuous (even if you have good motives) to anyone who looks up the link to the abstract!

AugustO 16:07, 28 March 2012 (EDT)

It's hair-splitting jargon of doubtful significance. 99% of people know what mass is, and it's directly related to weight, not electrostatic energy.--Andy Schlafly 16:38, 28 March 2012 (EDT)
And the remaining percent are the physicists which draw such distinctions with good reason! AugustO
Even more confusing is that the article states mass is a measure of inertia. Inertia is resistance to acceleration, and that has nothing to do with gravity at all. The article as it stands is simply inaccurate. --SamCoulter 16:51, 28 March 2012 (EDT)
Aschlafly: ....may not even have any justification in the paper
Aschlafly, havn't you read the paper? Here is a part of the conclusion:
Einstein produced about 18 virtuoso derivations and demonstrations all aimed at establishing the mass-energy principle. We have shown that although each of them gave evidence for the applicability of E0 = mc² to a particular set of circumstances, no one derivation, or collection of them taken together, succeeded in providing a definitive proof of its complete generality. That should not be surprising because the same situation occurs, for example, with F = ma, which is a different kind of relation than E0 = mc². Even so, 300 years of successful theoretical work have not proven the correctness of F = ma. Indeed, relativity showed that this expression, one of the bedrocks of classical mechanics, holds only approximately.
Here is another excerpt, on mass, electromagnetism etc:
In the 19th century, a number of European physicists, including the leading theoretician of the time, Hendrik Lorentz, were working to establish that mass was, in whole or in part, electromagnetic. There were primarily two competing theories, one by Lorentz, the other by Max Abraham. Both agreed that depending on the relative direction of its velocity and acceleration, an “electron” a generic charged particle moving through the aether could manifest both transverse and longitudinal speed-dependent mass components. There was even experimental evidence that seemed to confirm as much. Electromagnetic theory was then at the center of physics.
AugustO 16:56, 28 March 2012 (EDT)
(May I add that I think one shouldn't make such fundamental statements as E=mc² has no meaning, if one only skims a few abstracts! AugustO)

Aschlafly, maybe you have not the time (or the access) to read the actual papers - as you should when drawing conclusions. But perhaps you can take a look at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's ABC of Nuclear Science to refresh the basics?Even there, they use Einstein's famous equation...... AugustO 08:44, 29 March 2012 (EDT)

## ...purports to relate all matter to light

When I write that for iron I get:

V [cm³] * 7.874 g/cm³ = M [g]

I don't relate the mass to 7.8474, but to the volume. So, similarly Einstein's equations says that mass is proportional to energy, not light. AugustO 10:38, 29 March 2012 (EDT)

But the constant applied in this case is the (square of the) speed of light! Are you saying that that is a coincidence? If so, why not just say "E=mc"?--CPalmer 10:57, 29 March 2012 (EDT)
no, of course not, but we could write, e.g., Eε0 = m/μ0: the relationship is given between mass and energy... AugustO 11:04, 29 March 2012 (EDT)
But the relationship itself is somehow connected to light. Or maybe, the relationship is connected with some third factor that also determines the speed of light.--CPalmer 11:58, 29 March 2012 (EDT)
yes, but the c² is a constant. Does the equation E/c²=m relate all energy to light? AugustO 12:18, 29 March 2012 (EDT)
Yes - the equation in any form relates mass, energy, and the speed of light. I think the article doesn't emphasise the light-energy relationship because it's the mass-energy relationship that appears absurd once the theory of relativity is discounted.--CPalmer 12:22, 29 March 2012 (EDT)

Even if you discount the theory of relativity, the experimental facts remain: in experiments where mass is deleted or created, this happens with the release or absorption of energy. And this energy is given by ≈8.99*1016m²/s² times the mass... AugustO 13:31, 29 March 2012 (EDT)

(Your footnote about the units is bogus. SI units are not arbitrary, since eg Joules can be derived from other SI units including kilograms, metres and seconds. Therefore, the relationship to light is (purported to be) a natural one.)--CPalmer 11:00, 29 March 2012 (EDT)

Which footnote about units? AugustO 11:04, 29 March 2012 (EDT)

Ah, I see, no, not my footnote. The text was inserted by MihailD, and obviously the equation holds in other systems, too. AugustO 11:10, 29 March 2012 (EDT)

I took out the main part of the footnote: it should be obvious that in a physical equation only compatible physical units can be used, and that otherwise conversion factors have to be introduced. But there is no problem, if we have c in feet/h, m in pounds, and E in pound*feet²/h² AugustO 11:30, 29 March 2012 (EDT)

I see - my apologies. I thought you had added the footnote in order to try and make the point above. I agree that in any sensible unit system the equation will work (assuming the theory is right of course).--CPalmer 11:32, 29 March 2012 (EDT)
Looks like MihailD received a lifetime block for this and related edits, so he'll be unable to explain or justify his comments. --JasperK 08:58, 30 March 2012 (EDT)
That's a pity! AugustO 09:38, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

## We will, we will, we will

Generally I enjoy the great contribution of SamHB. My only rub: the royal we - we will dispel, we will show, we don't do. I don't think that this is the best way to phrase an encyclopedic article, and I'd like to see alternatives. For the moments, I just commented out some of the occurrences which in my opinion spoiled the fun of reading the article....

AugustO 09:38, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

It is a bit chatty. The first one could be rephrased "This article sets out to...". I have reworded two of the others, and the rest might possibly be omitted entirely.--CPalmer 09:44, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

## I don't understand...

Why you guys destroyed a wonderful original piece of work by Mr. Schlafly. There are hundreds of books and web sites that explain relativity, why did you feel the need to reproduce that content here? --AlejandroH 16:18, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

Perhaps because they are right and he is wrong? AugustO 16:39, 30 March 2012 (EDT)
Aschlafly, you still haven't answered my reasonable questions abouts this subject. To be ignorant on a subject isn't that big a deal, but to willfully stay ignorant while lecturing about it, that is! AugustO 17:32, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

BTW, the wonderful original piece of work was not destroyed - you find it embedded in the text. A blanket reversion of the work of a couple of editors should be a no-no, please give reasons for reverting at least for each paragraph! And answer the questions! AugustO 17:42, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

## Protection of the Article

Stated reason: (with reluctance, and repeated reversions; for now, post specific suggestions for edits on the talk page)

Aschlafly, this must be one of these definitions of irony, as I asked for specific reasons for your deletions of material. Isn't that censorship? BTW, you still haven't replied to the sections above, and frankly I'm starting to call your knowledge on this matter in question! Ignorance is not always bliss!

And if you are not willing to address the points made above by various contributors, are you at least willing to read and answer to specific suggestions for edits on the talk page? Or is this a sham to force-feed your view to the readers?

AugustO 18:39, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

The lead focus of the entry was converted into a parade of hearsay rather than logical analysis. Simply put, the entry had denigrated into the antithesis of the truth-seeking integrity expected of Conservapedia.--Andy Schlafly 19:41, 30 March 2012 (EDT)
And what about the current entry? The fact is that E=mc2 is a perfectly valid equation demonstrating the equivalence of matter and energy and it has been thoroughly verified; the energy a piece of matter contains DOES equal its mass times c squared. This has been repeatedly demonstrated by experiments, which consistently show that the energy released by a reaction is equal within measuring limits to the overall mass lost. It's perfectly reasonable to reject any claim that this demonstrates the truth of moral relativism, atheism or anything else, but to criticise the equation itself as "meaningless" or "liberal claptrap" demonstrates no truth-seeking or integrity. E=mc2 is no more liberal than d=vt or 1+1=2. --SamCoulter 19:53, 30 March 2012 (EDT)
The entry explains how nonsensical the formula is as a general principle -- and how it has never been derived as a matter of logic or demonstrated in any general, meaningful manner. Reliance on hearsay is not a serious alternative.--Andy Schlafly 20:24, 30 March 2012 (EDT)
But it isn't a general principle. It's a mathematical expression of matter-energy equivalence and it's perfectly valid. Whether or not it's ever been derived as a matter of logic or not is irrelevant because it's been repeatedly demonstrated to be true in the most meaningful manner possible: if you turn matter into energy the amount of energy that comes out is always equal to the lost mass times c squared. --SamCoulter 20:59, 30 March 2012 (EDT)
You restate the claim as though its repetition would make it true. It doesn't. If someone gains one pound in weight, then it is preposterous for anyone to claim that his energy has thereby increased in proportion to the speed of light squared.--Andy Schlafly 21:07, 30 March 2012 (EDT)
Yes, it would be absolutely preposterous. In fact his energy would have increased by a number of foot-pounds equal to one pound times c2 in feet per second. --SamCoulter 21:11, 30 March 2012 (EDT)
To explain that further, his energy would have increased in proportion to his weight, not to the speed of light. If a person who weighed 150lb gained 1lb the energy contained in their mass would increase from 1.4467x1017 ft lb to 1.4564x1017 ft lb. --SamCoulter 21:39, 30 March 2012 (EDT)
The formula E=mc2 does assert that his energy for a fixed gain in weight would increase in proportion to the speed of light squared and, as you say, that is preposterous.--Andy Schlafly 23:37, 30 March 2012 (EDT)
No, his energy for a fixed gain in weight will increase in proportion to his weight. In my example of a 150lb man gaining 1lb, his new energy content will be 0.6667% higher, as will his weight. c2 is just a constant. --SamCoulter 00:52, 31 March 2012 (EDT)
Andy seems to imagine that this energy should be immediately available for sports or doing work around the house, and that we should all be superheroes after having eaten a bar of chocolate. This is, of course, not so. The energy is still locked up in the mass, and it would require nuclear or particle reactions to convert even small parts of it into useful forms of energy. --FrederickT3 03:28, 31 March 2012 (EDT)

The lead focus of the entry was converted into a parade of hearsay rather than logical analysis. Then let's get factual: just answer a few questions. Shouldn't be difficult, as you are so insightful. AugustO 01:26, 31 March 2012 (EDT)

Of course this is hearsay - and so it should be. Conservapedia is an encyclopedia - a collection of established information cited from other sources. Hearsay may be inappropriate in court, but it is the lifeblood of an encyclopedia. Anything that is not 'hearsay' is personal opinion or original research, and should be reserved for articles prefixed 'Essay:'. --JasperK 08:23, 1 April 2012 (EDT)

Then again, heresy tends to be more reputable when it comes from a professional who has studied the issue for years, instead of a man who doesn't understand how food works. JackFerner 12:23, 2 April 2012 (EDT)

I noticed that this edit removed publication information about the references. Personally, I think this information is useful for two reasons: it helps Conservapedia editors locate the references from other sources if (and when) the links go dead, and it helps who print out Conservapedia articles and wish to look up the references offline. (Of course, I'm not suggesting that the URLs be removed, but this could be in addition to the publication information). Of course, there may be perfectly good reasons for removing the publication information of which I am not aware, but I otherwise think that the publication information should be included again (and I plan to do this once the protection expires). GregG 23:17, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

Great point. I retrieved and added many of the citations back. If I missed any then I'd be happy to add them also.--Andy Schlafly 23:37, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

## Niels Bohr

Andy, for how often you rail against the Nobel Prize I'm surprised that you would try and use a former winner as an authority to support your misguided assertion. DennisR 21:48, 1 April 2012 (EDT)

Even a broken clock (like the Nobel Prize) gets it right every once in a while!--Andy Schlafly 22:07, 1 April 2012 (EDT)
. As a general claim of equivalence between mass, energy and the speed of light, it was widely rejected at the time by the leading 20th century physicists, including Niels Bohr. Who were these physicists? And what said Niels Bohr? I couldn't find anything. In the famous Gedankenexperiment at Solvay, he accepted E=mc²! AugustO 02:14, 2 April 2012 (EDT)
And of course it isn't a "general claim of equivalence between mass, energy and the speed of light." It's a statement of equivalence between energy and matter. Andy seems to be obsessed with the idea that light is involved somehow, and that conflicts with his rather odd idea that the Bible forbids a unified theory. I can only wonder what he'll do if science comes up with a unified theory. Probably deny that too. --SamCoulter 02:16, 2 April 2012 (EDT)

Aschlafly, according to the information I found (Einstein and Bohr at the Solvay-conference), Niels Bohr accepted E=mc². So, a fact-tag was the only alternative to downright deleting the sentence: it allows you to bring up your sources! AugustO 02:31, 2 April 2012 (EDT)

I'd have been amazed if he hadn't. Bohr was on the British team for the Manhattan Project, and he wouldn't have been much use at nuclear weapon design if he didn't accept E=mc2. --SamCoulter 02:41, 2 April 2012 (EDT)
Aschlafly, you have a tendency to make up claims (As a general claim of equivalence between mass, energy and the speed of light, it was widely rejected at the time by the leading 20th century physicists, including Niels Bohr. , Undoubtedly many other experiments contradict the formula, and, yes, "suddenly" or "at that time" is a nuance of the Greek ἰδού). And when your bluff is called, you are miffed! AugustO 03:00, 2 April 2012 (EDT)
Protected "E=mc²": insertion of a fact tag instead of finding and adding a reference. That is ridiculous: there is no way of finding and adding a reference for this made-up "fact"!
It is, however, not very difficult to show that the fact was invented: just take a look into "Foundations of Quantum Physics I", a book written by Niels Bohr and Jorgen Kalckar. Here Bohr uses what he calls Einstein's relation without any trepidation! AugustO 09:00, 2 April 2012 (EDT)
Presumably, then, the relevant text should be changed to something like "it was widely rejected at the time by the leading 20th century physicists, although Niels Bohr later accepted it." and then add the citation. Or you could clarify with something like "the liberal Nobel Prizewinner Niels Bohr".--CPalmer 09:18, 2 April 2012 (EDT)
• There is no reason to think that there was a time at which Niels Bohr didn't accept it!
• Is there any source which shows that it was widely rejected at the time? Of course, there was the Deutsche Physik, but does this count?
• That said: the {{fact}} tag was absolutely appropriate.
AugustO 09:44, 2 April 2012 (EDT)
You make some valid points as the online evidence is remarkably scant, even though the disagreement between Bohr and Einstein is well-known. This may be a (rare) example where the internet is less adequate than books. I did add an explanatory footnote and the protection to the page should be expiring soon, if not already.--Andy Schlafly 10:22, 2 April 2012 (EDT)
• Einstein disagreed with Bohr regarding quantum mechanics. Could you provide a source that Bohr disagreed with Einstein on the theory of relativity? I can't find one!
• As I said, the {{fact}} tag was absolutely appropriate, and I'll reinsert it, as I don't think that there are any sources to back-up your claim.
• Furthermore, I have difficulties to believe that Lord Rutherford had problems with E=mc², he seemed to appreciate the liquid-drop-model of Gamov, Bohr, et al.
• a general claim of equivalence between mass, energy and the speed of light: no one claims that the three are equivalent!

AugustO 11:22, 2 April 2012 (EDT)

## First sentence

I've changed the introduction to something a bit more encyclopaedic. Please don't revert without discussing it first. Thanks. --SamCoulter 16:28, 2 April 2012 (EDT)

## Political Pressure

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

More likely the fact that similar experiments as the one Cockcroft and Walton are performed by undergraduates in each department teaching physics around the world! AugustO 02:30, 3 April 2012 (EDT)

No, that would not explain why it "is impossible for anyone pursuing an academic career in science to even question the validity of" E=mc2. Even if you think the formula is somehow true, surely you do not deny the political pressure in academia against anyone who might consider questioning it.--Andy Schlafly 10:37, 3 April 2012 (EDT)
It's entirely possible for someone who questions the validity of E=mc2 to pursue a career in science; scientists are encouraged to question the validity everything. However if they deny the validity of E=mc2 then a scientific career is indeed off-limits to them, for the same reason as it's off-limits to someone who denies that 1+1=2. The fact is, E=mc2. It's been verified time and time again. --SamCoulter 18:44, 3 April 2012 (EDT)

To talk about political pressure in this context is ridiculous. The conversion of Mass to Energy and vice versa and the validity of E=mc2 has been demonstrated experimentally so often(an early example is given in the main page) that to deny that the equation describes observed nature flies in the face of observation and is thus unscientific. To question its validity without hard experimental evidence or a sound theoretical argument (neither of which has been demonstrated) would simply be a matter of scientific (in)competance.Jloveday 15:16, 3 April 2012 (EDT)

• Aschlafly, if you argue against E=mc² out of a position of (willful) ignorance, you won't be taken seriously. Unfortunately this is what you are doing, as your (non-) answer above is showing.
• Criticism of E=mc² on ideological grounds just doesn't work, as the adherents of the Deutsche Physik found out in the early 1940s.
• But obviously, the theory is under constant discussion, as is the concept of energy or mass.
AugustO 18:34, 3 April 2012 (EDT)

## Matter-light relationship

Mr. Schafly, I think you are misunderstanding the nature of the  relationship. To illustrate, I will give an example.

Suppose we have a map where 1 inch of distance on the map corresponds to 5 miles actual distance. If points A and B are located 2.5 inches apart on the map, we can compute the actual distance between them as follows:



In general, if the map distance between two points is  and the actual distance between the points is , then the following formula is satisfied:



where  is the conversion factor . The equation above does not relate distance to five or map distance to quintessence. Rather, it posits a direct relationship (or equivalence) between the map distance and the actual distance, related by a conversion factor.

Likewise,  posits a direct relationship between mass and energy. It does not relate mass to the speed of light (or light itself), nor does the equation related light to energy. Rather,  is a conversion factor, just like the  was in our equation for computing actual distances from map distances. I hope this helps explain why some editors have concern with your statement of the relationship posited by . GregG 00:19, 4 April 2012 (EDT)

But Energy and mass have known meanings in other contexts, unlike the distances (in inches) on the map page in your example. If Energy or mass were being redefined by E=mc2, then I think your analogy would work. But people are not defending E=mc2 by saying it entails a redefinition of Energy or mass.--Andy Schlafly 01:00, 4 April 2012 (EDT)
The equation postulates how mass and energy can be interchanged while conserving the total amount of mass energy. For example, according to the equation, a nuclear reaction that causes 1.0 kg of mass to be lost will produce 9.0 x 1016 J energy. The amount of energy produced by the loss of mass is proportional to the mass lost. It is the same sort of equivalence between the number of pounds you get at a currency exchange and the number of dollars you pay (which, come to think of it, is probably an even better analogy). GregG 01:13, 4 April 2012 (EDT)
(inserted reply here) E=mc2 claims more than the relation between mass and energy is linear (which is itself implausible). It also claims that the proportional factor is precisely equal to the speed of light squared. Restating the meaning of the equation in plain terms demonstrates how implausible it is.--Andy Schlafly 20:41, 4 April 2012 (EDT)
Energy and mass have known meanings in THIS context! The equation tells us how much energy will be liberated by losing a set amount of mass, or how much energy (for example hard gamma rays) is required to create a set amount of mass. It is a valid equation. It doesn't matter what objections anyone has to it based on principle or logic; it's been tested and it's correct. This is getting pretty frustrating. --SamCoulter 01:56, 4 April 2012 (EDT)

Perhaps we should have two articles E=mc² (science) and E=mc² (new age): every sentence Aschlafly writes on this subjects shows that he knows so very little about the science involved - and has no interest to get informed any further. Instead his methods reminds me of homeopaths and other quacks advertising their craft by misrepresenting sources, cherry-picking evidence and generally repeating false statements over and over again despite of better knowledge. AugustO 02:05, 4 April 2012 (EDT)

### A question

Mr Schlafly, you've said that this equation "purports" to describe the equivalence of matter and energy. The fact is, it's been repeatedly tested and it does describe the equivalence of matter and energy. However I get the feeling that there's some misunderstanding here. What, exactly, is your objection to E=mc2? Do you think it's incorrect - in which case go check the experimental data - or do you think it's being used to advance some sort of political agenda? I think we've reached a deadlock here and to make any progress on improving the article it would be helpful to know what you think is wrong with the equation. --SamCoulter 02:02, 4 April 2012 (EDT)

The problem is that it is a self-sustaining myth presented as "fact" by the same self-serving scientific establishment who have built an tautological edifice on nothing. It is designed to subtly indoctrinate children into the world of moral, social and scientific relativity by suggesting that "everything is relative".--DavidEdwards 17:03, 4 April 2012 (EDT)
The equation is nonsensical. Mass has nothing to do with the speed of light, and cannot be equated to energy simply by multiplying it twice by the speed of light.--Andy Schlafly 20:33, 4 April 2012 (EDT)
Andy, how do you explain the result of the Cockcroft- Walton experiment? --FrederickT3 01:42, 5 April 2012 (EDT)
A very good question! Aschlafly, you could try to answer it by responding to this section above! AugustO 02:01, 5 April 2012 (EDT)

## Bohr disagreed with Einstein's 1905 paper

Aschlafly, do you have any source for this claim? It seems to be factual incorrect. AugustO 09:27, 5 April 2012 (EDT)

I looked into it and for me it is an ad-hoc fabrication to make a point - even the time-line doesn't work out: a trustworthy encyclopedia shouldn't work this way! AugustO 12:58, 5 April 2012 (EDT)

My dad's grandfather Charles Lane Poor also disagreed with this paper, although I think he eventually came around once enough evidence piled up for it. --Ed Poor Talk 13:36, 9 June 2012 (EDT)
Why also? There is no evidence that Bohr disagreed with the paper (therefore the statement about Bohr is factually incorrect, i.e., false) and the fabrication was removed from the article. AugustO 04:18, 10 June 2012 (EDT)
Bohr and Einstein, though friends, had a famous debate about the new theories. If it was not about the particular 1905 paper you have in mind, then what were the Bohr–Einstein debates about? --Ed Poor Talk 10:22, 11 June 2012 (EDT)
They had famous debates about quantum mechanics, which has nothing to do with the 1905 paper. I'm not aware of any debates about relativity. Can you provide a reference? --FrederickT3 11:09, 11 June 2012 (EDT)
Indeed, it is well known that Bohr and Einstein discussed quantum-mechanics - here is Niels Bohr's own account of these discussions: Discussions with Einstein on Epistemological Problems in Atomic Physics. Please keep in mind that Bohr was just 20 years old in 1905 - and only decided that year to drop philosophy and take up physics! If you can find any debate of Bohr and Einstein on purely relativistic matters, that will come as a surprise. AugustO 15:41, 11 June 2012 (EDT)

## Some questions

I still don't understand why (a) Andy Schlafly doesn't know the difference between gravitational mass and inertial mass and (b) he seems obsessed over the speed of light in the equation. The m in the equation is inertial mass! As others have stated, when talking about gravitational mass, you need to consider general relativity.What E=mc^2 says is that mass is just a form of energy. It says nothing about the unification of electromagnetism and gravity (it doesn't even say anything about gravity!). Moreover, do you, Andy Schlafly, understand that electromagnetism is not the only theory that has c as a special value? All massless particles travel at the speed of light. In GR, gravity travels at the speed of light.

If you deny it, how do you account for changes in mass in nuclear reactions? How do you account for electron-positron annihilation as well as dozens of other examples of reactions that don't conserve mass in particle physics?

And by the way, as has been pointed out, if you deny special relativity, you have to reject Maxwell's equations. Are they a liberal conspiracy as well? --AndyFrankinson 20:34, 5 April 2012 (EDT)

"Usually when we speak of an object's mass we do not distinguish whether we are referring to its inertial mass or its gravitational mass. This is because the quantity of matter present in an object, i.e., its mass, does not depend on the method by which it is measured." [1] Indeed, no measurement has ever detected a difference between the two.
As to your second point, chemical reactions can cause energy to be released, and the remaining mass to be reduced. This is hardly astounding and certainly does not imply that E=mc2.
Your third point is often repeated by Relativists but overlooks that Maxwell's equations were developed and demonstrated decades before the Theory of Relativity. Maxwell's equations survived just fine for years without anyone claiming that somehow E=mc2. Indeed, an assertion that people "have to reject Maxwell's equations" based on relativity suggests a mathematical approach to physics, rather than an observational one. Are you aware of how Eddington claimed that a physical constant "must" have a certain value due to some mathematical rationale? (He was wrong, of course.)--Andy Schlafly 21:06, 5 April 2012 (EDT)
Your first point: It's good that we all agree that inertial mass and gravitational mass are the same thing. (This is the fundamental hypothesis of general relativity, by the way.) But the term "mass" always means "inertial mass". Gravity never appears anywhere in special relativity. Even if Newton's constant of universal gravitation ("G") were zero, that is, we lived in a hypothetical universe in which there is no gravity, special relativity, the Lorentz transform, and E=mc^2 would still be true. There should be no mention of gravity anywhere in the article. But the second sentence of the article refers to "mass (i.e., gravity)". Please take that out. I would do it myself, but I'd get it wrong, since I don't know what point you were trying to make.
Your second point: That chemical reactions that cause energy to be released result in a reduction of the final mass most certainly is astounding. No one had ever seen this, or suspected it, before E=mc^2, and it is doubtful that anyone has seen it to this day, since the effect is so small for chemical reactions. The phenomenon is known only because we know that E=mc^2 is true.
Your third point: Yes, Maxwell's equations were developed decades before relativity, and survived just fine before anyone suspected that E=mc^2. Your claimed "assertion that people 'have to reject Maxwell's equations' based on relativity" is not made by anyone. It's the denial of relativity that would necessitate a denial of Maxwell's equations. Maxwell's equations imply relativity, though Maxwell didn't realize it. In fact, it was an analysis of Maxwell's equations, not the Michelson-Morley experiment, that led to relativity. If we lived in a hypothetical universe in which there were no electric or magnetic forces, relativity would still be true.
JudyJ 23:36, 5 April 2012 (EDT)
You didn't respond to my point about Arthur Eddington, who was the biggest promoter of the Theory of Relativity in the English world.
The reason is that has nothing to do with E=mc^2. Your point about Eddington was presumably referring to the alpha=1/137 business, right? I am aware of that. It was in the late 1930's. Would you like me to write an article about it? I'd be glad to do so. Eddington's promotion of relativity in England was in the 1920's, after the eclipse (his book was in 1923), and was about general relativity. E=mc^2 is in special relativity, and was widely accepted by then. JudyJ 17:59, 7 April 2012 (EDT)
Simply put, the Theory of Relativity is a mathematical theory (which, by the way, is taught in math departments in some universities); this mathematical theory has never been based on meaningful physical observations. Any statement that someone must reject Maxwell's equations if he rejects the Theory of Relativity shows how the mathematical cart can be incorrectly placed before the physical horse.--Andy Schlafly 00:21, 6 April 2012 (EDT)
Of course it's been based on meaningful physical observations. To be more precise, it's based on repeated experiments where the relation between the observed mass loss and the observed energy release is E=mc2. I really don't know what your problem is, but to challenge the validity of something as thoroughly confirmed as E=mc2 is not going to get you anywhere. The equation is valid. --SamCoulter 03:17, 6 April 2012 (EDT)
My comments were aimed at people who accept that both mathematical theory and experimental observations have a role to play, and that they complement each other. There is no cart and no horse. Relativity, like Newtonian mechanics, involves both elegant mathematics and observation, and the observations buttress the theory very well. It's possible for people to get carried away with the mathematics, as Eddington did with the 137 business, but that hasn't happened with relativity. And yes, if you don't accept relativity, you can't make Maxwell's equations work correctly, though Maxwell didn't realize that at the time. It was only later that Lorentz, Poincare, and Einstein fixed that. JudyJ 17:59, 7 April 2012 (EDT)

As to your second point, chemical reactions can cause energy to be released, and the remaining mass to be reduced. This is hardly astounding and certainly does not imply that E=mc². Aschlafy, it may not come as a surprise, but you are wrong again:

• The mass of the products of a chemical reaction is nearly equal to the mass of the reagents, because the energy which is involved is so much less than that of a nuclear fusion or fission.
• A kilogram of TNT will release 4.484 MJ of energy, if you break this down for a single molecule, you see that less than 10 eV are released per molecule in the explosion. Compare this with the 17,200,000 eV per nucleus in the experiment of Corckcroft and Walton!
• In fact, if you let the products of the explosion cool down, the equivalent of this energy will be missing - but it is such a small amount that it is hard to detect it. But nevertheless, E=mc² could be observed.

AugustO 15:40, 6 April 2012 (EDT)

Cockcroft's experiments were not performed until 1932 [2], and recognition for his work did not occur from the Nobel Prize committee until 1951. I could find nothing in the Prize, Cockcroft's acceptance speech, or anything else contemporaneous that suggests that Cockcroft proved that E=mc2.

One comment above suggests that E=me2 was accepted long before 1932. Based on what, mere politics? This formula cannot be demonstrated mathematically even to this day, and the first (dubious) proof for it was not observed until 1932. Folks, E=mc2 seems to be based on politics rather than physics.--Andy Schlafly 18:02, 8 April 2012 (EDT)

"This formula cannot be demonstrated mathematically"--It is more correct to say that the formula cannot be mathematically derived from first principles (in the way that Kepler's laws can be derived from Newton's law of universal gravitation) rather than that the formula cannot be demonstrated mathematically. Indeed, experimental observation reveals that the added energy is proportional to the mass lost in a linear fashion, with  as the slope. These are the same sorts of phyiscal observations that allow you to deduce laws like  (apply varying amounts of force to a mass and see what the resulting acceleration is). GregG 18:38, 8 April 2012 (EDT)
The formula cannot be derived in any sensible way, not merely a rigorous way. Numerous attempts to derive it have been failures. Moreover, the first claimed experimental observation for the formual was not dates from 1932, long after the formula was declared to be unquestionable dogma.--Andy Schlafly 19:20, 8 April 2012 (EDT)
Could you please give us some references to these failed attempts? --FrederickT3 19:22, 8 April 2012 (EDT)

This took only one search on the internet: 7 failed attempts to prove E=mc2.--Andy Schlafly 23:27, 8 April 2012 (EDT)
Aschlafly, your reading of Cockcroft lecture is insufficient. He writes: It was obvious then that lithium was being disintegrated into two α-particles with a total energy release of 17.2 million volts. This energy could be provided by a diminution of mass of 0.0184 mass units, so he thinks that energy can be provided by decreasing the mass of an object. And if you do a little math, you can see for yourself that he uses Einstein's formula to calculate the amount.
As for the seven failed attempts: Even if there were mathematical errors in the papers as your "source" suggests, it is not clear that they render the calculations invalid!
I'm impressed which sources you are willing to ignore, and which seem to be absolutely acceptable,,,
AugustO 02:29, 9 April 2012 (EDT)
I assume you've read the book and not just that chronology, Andy? Looks like an interesting read, even though the author is a professor in liberal Vermont and has written a textbook on special relativity. Incidentally, amazon.com gives access to a few pages of "Einstein's mistakes". Let me quote from page 330: "His (Einstein's) first derivations of this equation, although flawed, convinced physicists that the energy-mass relation ought to be of general validity. In 1905, Einstein did not have available the mathematical tensor techniques needed for a correct derivation of this formula, but he instigated the theoretical investigations that later led von Laue and Klein to the correct derivation." Could you explain in more detail why you think the attempts failed? Von Laue and Klein's attempts would be particularly interesting, because your reference claims they were correct. --FrederickT3 15:28, 9 April 2012 (EDT)
A recent peer-reviewed scientific paper, which has been cited in this entry, also confirms that E=mc2 cannot be mathematically derived.--Andy Schlafly 15:53, 11 April 2012 (EDT)
Aschlafly, have you read the paper? I doubt it, as your statement isn't entirely correct. AugustO 16:06, 11 April 2012 (EDT)
You mean the paper by Hecht (2011)? That's also interesting. Let me quote from the Conclusions (I happen to have access to the paper): "Einstein produced about 18 virtuoso derivations and demonstrations all aimed at establishing the mass-energy principle. We have shown that although each of them gave evidence for the applicability of E=mc^2 to a particular set of circumstances, no one derivation, or collection of them taken together, succeeded in providing a definitive proof of its complete generality. That should not be surprising because the same situation occurs, for example, with F=ma, which is a different kind of relation than E0=mc2. Even so, 300 years of successful theoretical work have not proven the correctness of F=ma." ... "That aside, countless experiments from Cockcroft and Walton63 to Rainville et al.64 have, with increasing accuracy, confirmed that E0=mc2 is one of the greatest insights of the 20th century." But maybe that's not the paper you mean? --FrederickT3 17:18, 11 April 2012 (EDT)
That sounds like what the paper would have to say in order to be published, yes. An academic journal will withdraw its acceptance of a paper if it conflicts with the Theory of Relativity in any way. Anyone in academia who criticizes the Theory of Relativity in any way, no matter how minor, is risking the end of his professional career due to liberal orthodoxy. Robert Dicke, the greatest American physicist ever, was denied the Nobel Prize because he criticized the Theory of Relativity.--Andy Schlafly 23:07, 11 April 2012 (EDT)
And that doesn't sound like someone who actually read the paper! Drawing your conclusions just from your interpretation of the abstract (and wishful thinking) doesn't make a compelling argument. AugustO 02:01, 12 April 2012 (EDT)
How does Asclafly explain electron-positron annihilation? How do you explain that quantum electrodynamics (which is a relativistic theory) is the most accurately tested theory in physics? What's the theoretical basis for the spin of the electron if you deny SR? And are you telling me that Maxwell's equations are invariant under the Galilean transformations? AndyFrankinson 20:13, 18 April 2012 (EDT)
The claim that something "is the most accurately tested theory in physics" is a canard often heard by defenders of the Theory of Relativity. Step back, look at the phrase objectively, and it's easy to see that such a claim is unscientific. Indeed, such a claim sounds like something one would hear in politics. Not only are there more than three dozen counterexamples disproving the Theory of Relativity, but the claim on which it was based (the advance of the perihelion of Mercury) is now disproof of the theory. But notice how few people are interested in reviewing more precise data, and instead cite imprecise data that are a half-century old or more.--Andy Schlafly 21:49, 18 April 2012 (EDT)
You're getting a bit muddled here. One valid counterexample can deliver a fatal, knockdown blow to a purely philosophical / logical argument. Scientific theories (and their corresponding mathematical equations), however, are judged on the width and depth of their explanatory power, rather than on their ability to hold true in all cases. This is why we can still use Newton's equations to describe the motion of everything we can reasonably expect to bump into in everyday life. They might not hold true in all cases, but they still have sufficient explanatory bite to be very, very useful.
If you wish to pursue this line of reasoning, then you'll have to reject Newton's equations because of the instances where they fall down and fail to make accurate predictions. I'm pretty sure that you don't want to do that. --JohanZ 20:23, 19 April 2012 (EDT)
Andy, I think you are underestimating both the scientific savvy and the inquisitiveness of the contributors here. First, as you well know, but presumably don't like, those "counterexamples" are all wrong, and probably everyone here, except you, knows it. They have been refuted on the "rebuttal" page. Second, and this is my more important point, your claim that "few people are interested in reviewing more precise data" is not correct. I would be interested in reviewing such data, as would nearly everyone else here. Please post the data. Don't bother with the full observed precession of 5600 (or whatever) seconds relative to the old equinoctial frame, or 574 seconds with the new celestial frame. However that is calculated, the precession, after accounting for all the usual factors like gravitational effects of other planets and solar oblateness, is supposed to be 42.98 seconds or so. Please give a citation for the data showing that the GR figure is wrong. This argument has gone on for too long. SamHB 22:17, 19 April 2012 (EDT)

### Robert Dicke

• Aschlafly, have you any reason to believe that R. Dicke had any problem with the special theory of relativity?
• Your reverence for R. Dicke is understandable, but surprising in light of your statement about the equivalence principle: It's hair-splitting jargon of doubtful significance. 99% of people know what mass is, and it's directly related to weight, not electrostatic energy. R. Dicke took quite an effort to perform experiments on this hair-splitting jargon of doubtful significance.

AugustO 00:12, 14 April 2012 (EDT)

Robert Dicke's criticism of the general theory of relativity is well-known. For that, he was disqualified from receiving the Nobel Prize, despite being the most accomplished American physicist ever.--Andy Schlafly 21:41, 18 April 2012 (EDT)
Robert Dicke's criticism of the general theory of relativity may be well known, but we are here firmly in the realm of the special theory of relativity. And he didn't have problems with that one - so why have you? Are you a more able physicist than Robert Dicke? AugustO 09:21, 19 April 2012 (EDT)

## Speed and Kinetic Energy of Relativistic Electrons

William Bertozzi performed some experiments in 1964 to exemplify the effects of the theory of special relativity. W. Bertozzi undertook the effort to measure the values involved as directly as possible. He writes:

In the past few decades, the successful operation of multi-MeV accelerators and the planning and interpretations of many high-energy physics experiments have affirmed and illustrated the results of special relativity. However, because these efforts generally involved many other concepts, the relations of relativity are not demonstrable from the data in a simple quantitative manner. The purpose of this paper is to describe an experiment that was performed to help fill the need for such simple and direct data for the teaching of relativity. (p. 551)

And from the concluding remarks:

The Newtonian relation, usually adequate for the description of the motion of bodies at very low speeds, is obviously in disagreement with this high-speed data. Equally apparent is the conformity of the experimental data to the Einstein relation with its prediction of a limiting speed.

So, these experiments seem to be performed with Aschlafly in mind! Perhaps Aschlafly can explain the data in a non-relativistic way (via quantum dynamics, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics or even nuance of ἰδού?) But there are even experiments for undergraduates which show relativistic effects:

We have developed an undergraduate laboratory experiment to make independent measurements of the momentum and kinetic energy of relativistic electrons from a \beta -source. The momentum measurements are made with a magnetic spectrometer and a silicon surface-barrier detector is used to measure the kinetic energy. A plot of the kinetic energy as a function of momentum compared to the classical and relativistic predictions clearly shows the relativistic nature of the electrons. Accurate values for the rest mass of the electron and the speed of light are also extracted from the data. Robert E. Marvel, Michael F. Vineyard

AugustO 15:02, 13 April 2012 (EDT)

Then why hasn't William Bertozzi won a Nobel Prize for this work?--Andy Schlafly 21:11, 13 April 2012 (EDT)
Why should he? It is a relatively simple demonstration of a basic principle. Do you intend to ignore everyone who didn't get a Nobel prize? AugustO 23:58, 13 April 2012 (EDT)
If this were a "simple demonstration of a basic principle," then that would be all the more reason why it should be recognized with a Nobel Prize, given the lack of a prize for the same principle. Indeed, has any Nobel Prize been awarded for a purported confirmation of E=mc2? (Cockcroft's work did not claim to confirm the equation.)--Andy Schlafly 14:40, 14 April 2012 (EDT)
I find it fascinating how you on the one hand use the Nobel Prize as a source of authority when it hasn't been awarded for things you don't believe in and on the other hand berate the Nobel Prize as nothing more than liberal claptrap when it hasn't been awarded for things you do believe in. DVMRoberts 14:52, 14 April 2012 (EDT)
It's completely logical. Some liberal claptrap is even too much for the Nobel Prize committee, and that's worth pointing out.--Andy Schlafly 14:58, 14 April 2012 (EDT)

## A reminder

Aschlafly, could you please answer the questions in the questions in the section above: A few questions for Aschlafly regarding the experiment of Cockcroft¹ and Walton ?

I'm interested in your interpretation of their results. (But please take into consideration that a chemical reaction releases perhaps the 1,000,000th part of the energy per unit of mass as the reaction observed by Cockcroft and Walton.)

AugustO 01:28, 25 April 2012 (EDT)

## Does Andy Schlafly Understand what E=mc^2 means?

Aschlafly, do you know what E=mc^2 means? You say that "E=mc² is a meaningless, almost nonsensical, statement that purports to relate all matter to light." No. What it says is that matter is just another form of energy. That's it! It says nothing about unification of electromagnetism and gravity. Moreover, the m in the equation is inertial mass, not gravitational mass! If you look at any decent book on SR, it is the inertial mass that appears in the equations of relativistic energy-momentum. AndyFrankinson 09:42, 27 April 2012 (EDT)

## Open questions

Many questions in the sections above are still unanswered and I'm especially waiting for Aschlafly to answer those in the section A few questions for Aschlafly regarding the experiment of Cockcroft¹ and Walton.

Aschlafly, could you at least provide me with your interpretation of the bolded sentence of Cockcroft's lecture: It was obvious then that lithium was being disintegrated into two α-particles with a total energy release of 17.2 million volts. This energy could be provided by a diminution of mass of 0.0184 mass units? Feel free to show your calculations!

AugustO 14:03, 5 May 2012 (EDT)

...(including Lord Rutherford and Princeton Physics Professor Robert Dicke) rejected the Theory of Relativity.

• Robert Dicke had no problems with the special theory, he proposed an alternative to the general theory. Or do you have a source where he attacked the special theory?
• Ernest Rutherford thought that it was not beautiful, but he didn't reject the theory. Or do you have a source where he attacked theory for any other reason than being not beautiful?

Without any source, the statement in the article is meaningless - it's more a reflection of the opinion of the main author of the piece and is as convincing as a sentence like Sir Isaac Newton wouldn't have liked the theory neither.

AugustO 08:12, 10 May 2012 (EDT)

## Let's not dilute the truth here, OK?

Well, the truth is that more than 99% of all today's physics think that this formula is a marvel to behold. That this formula is liberal claptrap is only your personal opinion, Aschlafly. You haven't given any contemporary source to back this up. Are we expected to take your personal insights for the truth? I'm willing to do so only if you are able to present these insights in a comprehensible way, simply making a statement - and then repeating it over and over again - is not enough. AugustO 03:59, 25 June 2012 (EDT)

Agreed, let's not dilute the truth. E=MC2 is experimentally proven every time you look at the sun or any stars, it's proven every time an atom splits in a reactor to generate heat that in turn makes steam to spin a turbine and make electricity. I'm guessing the Sun being the center of the solar system is also "liberal claptrap" too. The part that I think is so funny is that everyone here is debating the topic so much when there probably isn't a single person on earth that would turn to Conservapedia for an explanation of anything even remotely scientific. Ntyson 17:45, 14 August 2012 (EDT)

## A little clarification?

Mr. Schlafly, I'm trying to understand your assertion that the "energy" of an object is a function of "electrostatics." I wonder if you can explain a little more about this.

For example, how is energy derived from electrostatic charge? Can you show the equation for doing this?

Are you basing this on the common practice of expressing energy in electron-volts?

Do neutral particles such as neutrons or uncharged atoms have energy, even though they have no charge? Pscott 21:54, 14 August 2012 (EDT)

Energy can be viewed as the ability to do work, as in applying a force. Electrostatic charge can certainly do that.
Mass applies, at most, a very weak force, and it has no connection with the speed of light squared. It's almost comical to claim that any meaningful statement of energy is found by multiplying mass times the speed of light squared.--Andy Schlafly 22:28, 14 August 2012 (EDT)
Unfortunately this doesn't really answer any of my questions. Yes, an electric field can apply a force. But the "strength" of an electric field is actually the same as a gravitational field: both decrease inversely as the square of the radius. The difference is that the strength of an electric field increases much more rapidly in proportion to charge than gravity does in proportion to mass.
Also, electric fields exert a force only on charged particles, which why I asked how we can calculate the energy of uncharged particles such as neutrons. Do they even have energy in the sense that you mean it?
And finally, I would still like to see the equations used to calculate the energy of a particle based on electrostatic charge. How much energy does an electron have? Is it the same as the energy of a proton (the charge is equal but opposite, but the mass is greater)?Pscott 15:05, 16 August 2012 (EDT)
Why is it preposterous to claim that if one gains a pound in weight then their energy has thereby increased in proportion to the speed of light squared, but not preposterous to claim that if one gains a pound in weight then their kinetic energy has thereby increased in proportion to their speed squared? Occultations 16:53, 21 August 2012 (EDT)

## "E=mc2 does expressly purport to relate all matter to light"

Mr. Schlafly, could you please explain this statement? It appears that this is a misunderstanding of the relationship of the mass-energy equivalence embodied by the equation . If a math student were to lambast the formula for the surface area of a sphere () as relating roundness to the number 4 or spheres to squares, they would rightly be criticized for this obvious misunderstanding of a mathematical formula. I think your misunderstanding of what  means is similar. GregG 19:00, 11 November 2012 (EST)

The surface area of a sphere is related to its radius, and to . But the claim that mass and the speed of light have any relation at all to each other, through energy or anything else, is absurd.--Andy Schlafly 23:21, 11 November 2012 (EST)
Is your concern that the constant "c" happens to be the speed of light? Or do you dispute the concept of relativistic mass, where
 Are you saying that the speed of light does not belong in either equation, and that the "c" should be something else? There are a number of equations in Einstein's Special Theory besides E=mc2 and they hold together as far as they go. Everyone agrees that a general theory of relativity has not been developed, but the ideas of mass energy equivalence and relativistic mass fit the data. The designers of nuclear reactors and satellite systems use these equations with success. Wschact 09:47, 12 November 2012 (EST)
It's a liberal fiction that E=mc2 has ever been applied in any practical way. The equation defines rest mass in terms of the speed of light - an absurdity.--Andy Schlafly 10:15, 12 November 2012 (EST)
With all due respect, relativity was factored into the design of the GPS satellite system. If you want to calculate the energy release of an atomic bomb, E=mc2 is very useful. We don't know with great precision the speed of light, and we don't know with great precision the value of "c". But God gave us brains and curiosity, so we will learn more precise values for both. So far, they match. If someday in the future, someone calculates "c" and measures the speed of light to more decimal places and discovers that they are different, I will have an open mind as to why. The constant "c" carries through consistently in Einstein's calculations for the Special Theory. The coincidence that "c" happens to equal the speed of light is one of the beautiful things about God's universe. Although I do not spend my life's work on theoretical physics, I am pleased that God has inspired some very smart people to devote their lives to thinking about relativity, and I wish them success and happiness. Wschact 11:15, 12 November 2012 (EST)
Relativity was not factored into the GPS design, and E=mc2 has never been useful in any other way.
We've discussed the claim about relativity and GPS over and over on this site, and as a matter of historical fact (not to mention obvious engineering efficiency), theoretical relativity was not part of its design. It is far easier and more accurate simply to synchronize directly based on observation, as may be needed.--Andy Schlafly 11:20, 12 November 2012 (EST)
If relativity isn't factored into the GPS design, why does the "GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM STANDARD POSITIONING SERVICE SIGNAL SPECIFICATION" (and you can't get more official than that) state that they have to compensate for relativistic effects? --AugustO 12:30, 12 November 2012 (EST)

Andy, why don't you answer August's question? What happens to that lost mass? And how do you explain E=mc 2 accounting for it exactly? The truth is that you live in a dream world. Your "insights" may sound like a nice way to view the world but when faced with a REAL counterexample and asked to back up your assertions you always just hide your head in the sand and fail to respond. Or use your classic 2+2=4 argument. Lol.--DamonRoss 12:23, 12 November 2012 (EST)

The equation does not define rest mass in terms of the speed of light. The equation defines relativistic mass in terms of the speed of light. If the equation were to define rest mass in terms of the speed of light it would have rest mass on the opposite side of the equation to the speed of light. Is your objection down to a fundamental flaw in your understanding of how equations work? VictorA 08:03, 14 November 2012 (EST)

## Still waiting for an answer....

In March 2012 I asked this question:

Aschlafly, two protons (1.0073amu) and two neutrons (1.0087amu) have a combined mass of 4.0320 amu. An alpha-particle - existing from two protons and two neutrons - has a mass of 4.0015 amu. How do you explain this diminution of mass?

I'm still waiting for an answer! --AugustO 08:55, 12 November 2012 (EST)

It's widely recognized that E=mc2 has not been experimentally verified. There has been no Nobel Prize awarded for it, for example, and there is no logical basis for even deriving the equation.
But a broken clock is correct twice a day. Would someone claim that proves the clock is working??--Andy Schlafly 20:21, 12 November 2012 (EST)
Do you say that the size of the diminution of mass just "happens" to coincide with the observed energy calculated via E=mc²?
But how can there be a loss of mass? If you don't think that the energy-mass-equivalence is valid, what's about conservation of mass?
Your "answer" is as good as a link to a video of fluffy kittens - or some proverb written in Chinese. In short, it is no answer at all, as you don't explain the diminution of mass.
"It's widely recognized that E=mc2 has not been experimentally verified. " That's just not true, I'm afraid.
AugustO 01:55, 13 November 2012 (EST)
I know a number of physicists who are good conservatives and good Christians. They take their children to Sunday school. They don't like seeing government wasting money. And they believe in Einstein's theory of special relativity. At one time, the Roman Catholic Church taught that the Earth was the center of the solar system rather than the Sun. I personally believe that the Church's view on that subject did not have a reliable source in the Bible. I understand how the Book of Genesis has been viewed as being in tension with Darwin's theory of evolution, but I don't see special relativity having the same tension with the Bible.
The question is whether the contradiction between the Bible and the equation E=mc2 is so direct and widely acknowledged that CP's users should receive an article that disparages the equation? Thanks, Wschact 09:32, 14 November 2012 (EST)

## Problematic edit

This edit is a bit vexing and does not reflect the consensus reached on the talk page. I understand the criticism directed toward the General Theory of Relativity, but for the reasons stated further down the article, E=mc2 does fit the experimental data. Based on everything that I have read, it is consistent with the Bible. I do not want to get into the middle of a pre-existing emotional dispute, but I thought that I had come up with language that fit both sides. CP is short on editorial manpower, and all of our time is very valuable. I am disappointed on how this was handled. Many thanks, Wschact 09:46, 15 November 2012 (EST)

Perhaps we could separate the experimental results from the general validity of E=mc2. I was thinking of something like:
Some experimental results appear to show that when a small amount of mass is lost in a nuclear reaction there is an accompanying release of energy (approx x eV per amu of mass lost).
Sorry I can't calculate x, but it can be just a number without any c, light speed etc
The conversion factor (x) is indeed close to the square of the speed of light if appropriate units are used. However:
• The experiement has been done with only a limited number of nuclear reactions and in specific environments. This does not prove that this will occur for every nuclear reaction in every environment, and cannot possibly prove that E=mc2 is always true
I'm assuming here that we accept the experiemental results as far as they go. If not, even better - we can link to some evidence that they are flawed
• The experimental results do not prove that the conversion factor (x) is exactly the square of the speed of light. More accurate measurements may show that it is different

No one has a convincing explanation of why E might possibly equal mc2. The most likely explanation is that the Creator designed it this way for some reason that we don't understand.
Would something like that help clarify the true position?
Peterw 15:47, 8 January 2013 (EST)
No Nobel Prize has been given for this implausible formula, so no meaningful experimental verification of it has occurred. There is utterly no logical explanation for the formula. It's in the realm of science fiction at best, and not as good as other types of science fiction.--Andy Schlafly 15:52, 8 January 2013 (EST)
• No Nobel Prize has been given for this implausible formula, so no meaningful experimental verification of it has occurred. That's just a non sequitur
• There is utterly no logical explanation for the formula. Why should there by? It works!
• It's in the realm of science fiction at best, and not as good as other types of science fiction. No, it's not - that's just wishful thinking of you part. Even undergraduates can perform experiments which show relativistic effects - see Relativistic Electron Experiment for the Undergraduate Laboratory
--AugustO 16:11, 8 January 2013 (EST)

Actually, it gets demonstrated in practice about 3x1010 times for every watt-second of power generated by a nuclear power plant. Aside from observation, the theoretical question of why it should be true (and why the proportionality constant must be c2) was logically deduced, by Poincare, Einstein, and perhaps others (Roger Schlafly would be an expert on this point), before it was ever observed. The last paragraph of Einstein's 1905 paper, after deducing it theoretically, speculated that it might actually be observed in Radium decay. It was, and the rest is history.

Clear expositions of why it must be true on theoretical grounds are not always easy to come by. I like to think that the page I wrote on another wiki gives a clear and concise proof. Anyone interested in my making it available here? SamHB 23:06, 8 January 2013 (EST)

I know that Albert Einstein won the 1921 Nobel Prize for his work on the photoelectric effect, and that no prizes were awarded during World War II. But didn't E=mc2 show up a lot in the work of Hans Bethe on nuclear reactions and energy production in stars (1967 prize). Hans Bethe lead the theoretical team at Los Alamos which designed the bombs dropped on Japan and certainly used the relationship on a day to day basis. So, I don't believe it is correct to say that "No Nobel Prize has been given for this implausible formula." I think that so many Nobel Prize winning discoveries in high energy physics depend on E=mc2 or further confirm the relationship that it would be hard to argue that the Nobel committee has been boycotting E=mc2 as pseudoscience. Wschact 05:46, 9 January 2013 (EST)

@SamHB: Having performed such an experiment for yourself is much more impressive than just thinking about actions in nuclear power plants or stars far away. Such an experiment inoculates you against arguments which are b|ased on wishful thinking alone.
@Wschact: the formula E=mc² is virtually omnipresent: I've shown above that Cockcroft used the formula in his Nobel-lecture. Aschlafly tends to ignore such information.
@Aschlafly: What do you think of the experiment for undergraduates (Relativistic Electron Experiment for the Undergraduate Laboratory)? Have thousands of students falsified their results to fit the current "dogma"? Do you have another theory which makes predictions that are different from those of Einstein's theory, but which is consistent with this experiment? And could you give the answers to #A_few_questions_for_Aschlafly_regarding_the_experiment_of_Cockcroft.C2.B9_and_Walton? The energy involved is to much for a chemical reaction...
--AugustO 08:34, 9 January 2013 (EST)
Broken clocks are precisely correct twice a day too. One or two bizarre experiments in more than a century of trying to prove the formula as a general proposition are hardly persuasive. The Nobel Prize committee wants to recognize the formula has being demonstrated, but can't. There is no logical support for the formula, as peer reviewed articles have virtually admitted.--Andy Schlafly 14:11, 9 January 2013 (EST)
The experiment for the undergraduates is hardly bizarre - what results would you expect? If you don't get the results as described, this means that your clock is broken, while the clock which most of us use is correct uncountable times a day. And please, could you give the answers to #A_few_questions_for_Aschlafly_regarding_the_experiment_of_Cockcroft.C2.B9_and_Walton? This is another non-bizarre and often repeated experiment... --AugustO 14:25, 9 January 2013 (EST)
[Sorry, I think I put this in the wrong place originally]. It's certainly a strange-looking formula. When refuting it should I be saying that mass is not actually being converted to energy in these reactions (i.e. the experiments are flawed and either mass is not being lost or the energy comes from somewhere else or something)? Or is it that mass is indeed being converted to energy but E=mc2 is not a correct/meaningful/useful way to describe it? Peterw 15:06, 9 January 2013 (EST)
Thank you Peterw. Clearly, energy is converted from matter. Just consider the energy source of hydrogen bombs and the Sun. Does anyone object to reverting the edit cited at the top of this section? Thanks, Wschact 23:04, 9 January 2013 (EST)
Mass is not a function of the speed of light. A century of effort (and billions of taxpayer dollars) to try to connect the two has struck out. Chemical reactions can yield a release of energy, but mass is neither created nor destroyed.--Andy Schlafly 23:40, 9 January 2013 (EST)
 The mass of the products of a chemical reaction is nearly equal to the mass of the reagents, because the energy which is involved is so much less than that of a nuclear fusion or fission. A kilogram of TNT will release 4.484 MJ of energy, if you break this down for a single molecule, you see that less than 10 eV are released per molecule in the explosion. Compare this with the 17,200,000 eV per nucleus in the experiment of Corckcroft and Walton! In fact, if you let the products of the explosion cool down, the equivalent of this energy will be missing - but it is such a small amount that it is hard to detect it. But nevertheless, E=mc² could be observed.
--AugustO 02:36, 10 January 2013 (EST)
Thanks Andy, that's pretty clear - mass is not being converted to energy, therefore E=mc2 is nonsense. I've got two kids who are being taught this stuff at school so I can now set them straight.
Regards Peterw 17:22, 10 January 2013 (EST)

## High School Experiment

August, please explain below any high school experiment that you think proves the formula. You might your view why a Nobel Prize was not given for it.--Andy Schlafly 14:36, 9 January 2013 (EST)

• Aschlafly, you are a former engineer, therefore you should have the competence to review an experiment for undergraduates!
• Not everything which is true can be shown at a high-school. You may say that in this case, the theory is beyond the scope of this project, but that is not the case: certainly the readers of this encyclopedia should be informed about such things, even if they can't do the maths themselves - or perform the experiments. This demands of the editors of articles like this one that they are willing to get the knowledge of the subject! Indeed they should get more information than is put into the article at the end. A good teacher should know a little bit more than the curriculum of his pupils...
• And please, could you give the answers to #A_few_questions_for_Aschlafly_regarding_the_experiment_of_Cockcroft.C2.B9_and_Walton? I always try to answer your questions - and the questions in the section above aren't that demanding...
--AugustO 14:52, 9 January 2013 (EST)
What's the relevance of the Nobel Prize? Was a Nobel Prize ever given for Intelligent Design, Flood Geology, Baraminolgy, anti-vaccine experiments, the link between breast cancer and abortion or creation science? MattyD 15:00, 9 January 2013 (EST)
As to why no Nobel Prize was given for it, I believe that the main factor was that Albert Einstein had already received the prize for his related work and since the prize was so new, there was a great reluctance to give it to the same person twice. There are a number of other Nobel Prizes awarded for related work that involve E=mc2 such as Hans Bethe's explanation of how energy is generated inside the Sun. Turning to the experimental side, there was a Nobel Prize given to John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton. While a high school student does not have the instrumentation sensitive enough to recreate that experiment, you could take high schools students to an "atom smasher" facility for a tour. For example, Fermilab outside Chicago has an excellent visitor's center which has a number of exhibits and demonstrations suitable for high school (and younger) students. The models help visualize the various aspects of atomic (and subatomic) interactions.
One interesting calculation is to give high school students the size of a hydrogen bomb and ask them to calculate the amount of energy that will be released when the bomb detonates. (I certainly would not want that experiment to be conducted for real at my high school.) I hope this helps, and if so, perhaps some of the materials from the talk page can be incorporated into the main article. Wschact 15:10, 9 January 2013 (EST)
• Wschact, I agree with you on the matter of the Nobel Prize
• The calculation is interesting, but it is impossible to prove its validity: the mass-defect simply can't be measured... --AugustO 17:19, 9 January 2013 (EST)
The significance of no Nobel Prize for this is the same as the significance of the dog that didn't bark: dogs want to bark, and the Nobel Prize committee wants to honor atheistic, nonsensical theories like relativity, but there is nothing there, there.--Andy Schlafly 17:24, 9 January 2013 (EST)
That's your opinion. Wschact offered another explanation. We could talk about this all day without getting closer to the truth - so let's get on more solid ground:
--AugustO 17:53, 9 January 2013 (EST)
I agree with AugustO's comments as well. If Andy could respond to those questions, we will know how to proceed to fix up this article and to write others. For example, if E does not equal mc2, what can we say in the Hans Bethe article about his contributions? How can we discuss synchrotrons? Why does it take more energy to push a particle as the speed of the particle approaches c? I understand the controversy on this website about evolution vs. creation vs. intelligent design, but E=mc2 appears to be an isolated debate with opponents of the equation lacking biblical support or a coherent world-view. Thanks, Wschact 18:52, 9 January 2013 (EST)
Isn't someone going to explain the high school experiment that supposedly proves that Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared, thereby unifying gravity and light???--Andy Schlafly 18:55, 9 January 2013 (EST)
Please read what I wrote above. For your convenience: "Not everything which is true can be shown at a high-school. You may say that in this case, the theory is beyond the scope of this project, but that is not the case: certainly the readers of this encyclopedia should be informed about such things, even if they can't do the maths themselves - or perform the experiments. This demands of the editors of articles like this one that they are willing to get the knowledge of the subject! Indeed they should get more information than is put into the article at the end. A good teacher should know a little bit more than the curriculum of his pupils... "
And please, could you give the answers to #A few questions for Aschlafly regarding the experiment of Cockcroft¹ and Walton? --AugustO 19:15, 9 January 2013 (EST)
With all due respect, as discussed many times on this page, E=mc2 does not "unify gravity and light". It addresses the conversion between matter and energy. The m is not gravitational mass. Thanks, Wschact 07:06, 10 January 2013 (EST)

### An experiment performed at high-schools

I think that experiments on Compton Scattering are performed at high-schools. While generally used to show that electromagnetic rays may act like particles, Einstein's mass-energy relationship is used in the process. --AugustO 19:33, 9 January 2013 (EST)

I agree about the Compton scattering validates E=mc2. I also believe that the Relativistic Electron Experiment for the Undergraduate Laboratory could be performed by high school students with proper adult supervision. It would make a great science project. Wschact 06:57, 10 January 2013 (EST)
Aschlafly, you created the article on Compton Scattering, but I can only guess how much you know about this subject, as it was just one in a flurry of similar very short articles, all copied and pasted from the [Talk:Compton Scattering|public domain]. So if you are not familiar with the experiment, have a look at the derivation of the Compton formula: it relies heavily on the mass-energy equivalence E=mc²!
This experiment was performed at my gymnasium by our teacher - due to the gamma radiation it would be a nightmare to have pupils to conduct the experiment for themselves.
Aschlafly, I reread your comments on this talk-page, and for me they are strangely disappointing: you are rarely arguing from physics, but mostly from politics. Or to quote you: You restate the claim as though its repetition would make it true.
Please answer #A few questions for Aschlafly regarding the experiment of Cockcroft¹ and Walton and show us that you actually know what you are talking about.
Thank you, --AugustO 13:58, 10 January 2013 (EST)

Neither the high school experiment, nor anything else about E=mc^2, purports to unify gravity and light. E=mc^2 does not relate to gravity; it would work in outer space. The "m" is inertial mass, not gravitational mass. The correspondence between the two is incidental, and relates to Einstein's equivalence principle (a completely different phenomenon) and the Eotvos experiment.

"Chemical reactions can yield a release of energy, but mass is neither created nor destroyed". Not so. It is a common misconception that E=mc^2 relates only to nuclear processes. It actually relates to all processes, though nuclear ones are the only ones for which the difference in mass can be reasonably measured. No one doubts the quantitative results, for nuclear processes, detailed on the article page. The equation E=mc^2, initially formulated on theoretical grounds, is in excellent agreement with those results. There is nothing about the theoretical underpinnings to suggest that there is some "threshold" below which Δm is zero, or that it only applies to certain types of interactions. There is good reason to believe that it applies everywhere, even though the mass difference, in the case of chemical reactions, is not readily measurable.

By the way, another "table-top" demonstration of relativity may be found here. It does not demonstrate E=mc^2; it's about electrodynamics under the Lorentz transform.

SamHB 19:36, 10 January 2013 (EST)

Thank you for sharing that experiment about generating and measuring DC current. A high school student could easily understand the physics, and the equipment could be made in the Industrial Arts shop. I miss my high school science fair days. (sigh) Wschact 00:28, 11 January 2013 (EST)

## Source of heat in a nuclear power station

Andy, I explained this to the kids yesterday and it was an eye-opener for them. The teacher hadn't mentioned that E=mc2 was only a theory and might not be happening (well,what would you expect?). Anyway, they did ask me a good question that I couldn't answer. Where does the heat come from in a nuclear power station? They're only 12 so I just need something simple.

It looks to me like Uranium is reacting and turning into other things. Is this just a normal chemical reaction and the heat comes from the chemical changes just like, say, gunpowder? Of course they're being told that the heat comes from a loss of mass, and is thousands of times more than a chemical reaction would produce, so I want to make sure I'm on solid ground saying that it isn't. I did a search but couldn't find references to where the heat comes from other than mass being converted into energy and something called Free Energy which I don't understand.

Peterw 08:20, 11 January 2013 (EST)

Learn out to spell "yesterday" and "happening"! :) LOL DanAP 09:52, 11 January 2013 (EST)
If those are my biggest problems then I'm fairly happy :-) Now corrected. Peterw 09:57, 11 January 2013 (EST)

## It is a meaningless, almost nonsensical, statement that purports to relate all matter to light.

I changed this sentence to It is a statement that purports to relate all matter to energy. . My reasons:

• The reader should decide for himself whether the statement is meaningless or nonsensical
• The older version showed a misunderstanding of proportionality: in a proportionality, two variables (in this case matter and energy) are related by use of a constant (in this case c²). The older version implied a relationship between matter and the proportionality constant - which is nonsense. As Aschlafly stated above "Mass is not a function of the speed of light." Here he is right - as the function of a constant would be necessarily constant itself, but we know that there are different masses....

--AugustO 09:58, 14 January 2013 (EST)

Aschlafly, before your next reversion of my edit, please address my concerns above. And you still haven't answered #A few questions for Aschlafly regarding the experiment of Cockcroft¹ and Walton... --AugustO 19:08, 16 January 2013 (EST)

## Citations Needed

This article really needs many citations. If a statement is made, for example, about people being unable to pursue a career in the sciences without accepting the topic of the article, some sort of source really should demonstrate that. Similar citations are needed elsewhere in the article. Avilister 19:14, 15 January 2013 (EST)

## Reversion explained

The truth is defined by logic, not by consensus at liberal universities.--Andy Schlafly 19:24, 16 January 2013 (EST)

The truth is that there is absolutely no relationship whatsoever between between politics and E=mc2, and the idea that there is one is only your personal opinion. Why do you think that you receive such little support on this idea?--RobertDW 21:25, 16 January 2013 (EST)