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This Article Could Use Sources or Better Explanation

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)


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)

Too hard about what?
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)


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)

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 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)