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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.

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)
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)
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)


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 Cockroft 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 Cockroft 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.
  • Cockroft 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 Cockroft's 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)


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)

Misleading footnote

(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)

Bare links

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)
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)