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# Misconceptions of E=MC^2

Author Topic:   Misconceptions of E=MC^2
Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
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From: Manchester, UK
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 Message 6 of 243 (451978) 01-29-2008 11:11 AM Reply to: Message 1 by pelican01-29-2008 10:20 AM

 For the sake of clarity I will start with one point that is misunderstood by some on this forum.I maintain this equasion is a theory and as such has not been proved.Is this true?

It actually emerges out converting the Lorentz transformation and Newton's laws to take relativity into account. Relativity is the theory, the equation is just some maths resulting from the theory. It is more confirmed than:

W = 1\2 mv2

The above is not a theory, and yet we can use this maths, and associated maths to get to the moon: so we can be confident that it is true as a general description of our local universe. The normal way of wording this is that W = Fd, but using F = ma we can show that W = 1\2 mv 2.

Einstein's modifications to this formula is:

`            MC2W   =  -------------   - MC2       (1-(V2\C2))1/2`

With a little more maths work we get to

E = W + MC2

So even when W=0, something will have the energy of MC2.

This is essentially a prediction of Relativity, and it provides a wonderful way to test the theory. If the description of the way the universe works as developed out of the mathematics of the theory then the theory is confirmed as being a useful description of at least part of our universe.

They tested it, the description holds. Newton's description isn't as accurate, which is only practically detectable at particularly large values of v. Smaller values require much more sensitive equipment to detect any discrepancy.

It is a modified law, not a theory. It was modified using ideas derived from theory. If the theory was right, those modifications should provide a more accurate description of the universe and they do. This is science, it can never prove the theory is true, it can only become strongly supported by evidence or falsified by it.

No laws of nature have been proven true, and Einstein's modifications of classical equations is no exception. They are mathematical representations of our observations. The wonderful thing about Einstein's equations is that they came out of theory first, rather than observation with later theories trying to explain them. The fact that his theory predicted these kinds relationships is a stunning testimony to relativity.

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

 Message 11 of 243 (452006) 01-29-2008 11:57 AM Reply to: Message 10 by pelican01-29-2008 11:50 AM

Re: E=MC2 experiments
 For the sake of a none scientific brain, could you tell me about one of these brazillion experiemnst?

quote:
In experiments described in the Dec. 22, 2005, issue of Nature,* the researchers added to a catalog of confirmations that matter and energy are related in a precise way. Specifically, energy (E) equals mass (m) times the square of the speed of light (c2), a prediction of Einstein's theory of special relativity. By comparing NIST measurements of energy emitted by silicon and sulfur atoms and MIT measurements of the mass of the same atoms, the scientists found that E differs from mc2 by at most 0.0000004, or four-tenths of 1 part in 1 million. This result is "consistent with equality" and is 55 times more accurate than the previous best direct test of Einstein's formula, according to the paper

http://www.physorg.com/news9248.html

 Were they tested in Brazil?

That one was French, unfortunately. Though interestingly Eddington's solar eclipse test of relativity was done in Brazil.

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
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From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

 Message 17 of 243 (452019) 01-29-2008 12:27 PM Reply to: Message 12 by pelican01-29-2008 12:01 PM

I included plain English as well, I thought if you were comfortable with maths I'd throw in some background maths.

In as plain as English as I can muster given the question:

Newton described work and forces and their relationship with acceleration, velocity and mass etc etc etc. Einstein incorporated a mathematical idea developed by a fella called Lorentz into his theory and used those ideas to modify the descriptions of Newton. These modifications left us with the rather beautiful equation, E = MC2

This is important because it helps illuminate that E=mc2 is essentially the result of modifying the Newtonian laws in accordance with theory. It isn't purely derived from theory, as some people might believe, and I hope that that possible misconception is now cleared up. E=mc2 is not a theory, it is an equation that results from modifying the classical laws of physics to agree with theory.

Thus, it is not off topic, it is at the heart of at least one possible misconception.

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

 Message 19 of 243 (452030) 01-29-2008 12:50 PM Reply to: Message 18 by pelican01-29-2008 12:39 PM

Re: E=MC2 experiments
 why are you answering my replies to Chiroptera and Chiroptera is answering yours? I ask because this is causing a disruption in the flow of investigation.

You'll get used to it. Multiple people can reply to the same posts.

 ...........this was a tongue in cheek reply and you took it seriously.

My reply was not meant to be taken seriously.

 If you must reply for others, will you please read back a bit and get the gist?

When you said "could you tell me about one of these brazillion experiemnst?" I thought you were requesting information regarding an experiment that verifies E=mc2. I provided you with a description of such an experiment. If I have misread the gist of the following exchange:

H: I maintain {E = mc2} is a theory and as such has not been proved.

C: . A brazillion experiments have been performed on this, and it has been verified in all of these..

H: could you tell me about one of these brazillion experiemnst?

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
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 Message 28 of 243 (452077) 01-29-2008 1:43 PM Reply to: Message 24 by pelican01-29-2008 1:22 PM

 . Let me expand on my previous posts. E=MC2 in plain english means : Energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light multiplied by the speed of light.

That was in your OP, so not really an expansion, eh? But seriously yes, that is what the equation is and basically what it means.

 Has this equasion been physically reproduced successfully?

Equations are not things that get physically reproduced, they are mathematical relationships.

If you mean, has the equation been experimentally confirmed, as in, does the equation correlate with reality as tested? Yes. I have given you an example of an experiment that does this directly.

 Already in this thread, there are misconceptions in thinking this has actually been reproduced. It has not.

One problem is that I have no idea what you mean by 'reproduced'. What do you mean by it? Have any other scientific laws been 'reproduced'? Which ones? How?

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

 Message 42 of 243 (452104) 01-29-2008 2:08 PM Reply to: Message 25 by pelican01-29-2008 1:36 PM

Re: E=MC2 experiments
 'Brazillion' was the offending word.

Yes it was funny. I continued with a dose of dry humour by lamenting that the experiment wasn't performed in Brazil.

 In fact this shows that some believe there have been many experiments based on reproducing E=Mc2

As stated: experiments have confirmed that the equation accurately describes many parts of the universe. I have no idea what reproducing E=mc2 means, and based on my knowledge of the word, I do not think it has been reproduced.

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
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 Message 43 of 243 (452106) 01-29-2008 2:17 PM Reply to: Message 35 by pelican01-29-2008 1:59 PM

 E=MC2 means a piece of matter travels at he speed of light squared and changes form to become energy.

No, it means that energy is proportional the mass of the object in question. It just describes the relation of matter to energy. It doesn't say that matter changes form. Actually when you look at the equations as a whole, we find that as we approach the speed of light, the mass of an object approaches an infinite magnitude. Quite the opposite of your understanding.

Where no work is being done, the energy of x is equal to the product of the mass of x and c2

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

 Message 96 of 243 (452376) 01-30-2008 8:08 AM Reply to: Message 69 by pelican01-30-2008 12:21 AM

Keeping it simple
 All the physically proven experiments with e=mc2 have been in using it in reverse i.e mass divided by the square root of c2 = minus energy (mass).As it stands e = mc2 i.e the theory of producing matter from energy using the square of the speed of light has never been proved, only the reverse.This I believe is a common misconception amongst the members in this forum.

Would you agree that if we were to measure, e, m, and c and we were to find that e=mc2 that would confirm the equation was accurate? We just measure each of the variables and see how they relate to one another. If they relate to one another in the same way then the equation is right - yes?

Likewise, if you measured, e, m, and c you might find that m = e/c2

If we find that e=mc2 when we measure e, m and c. If we find that m = e/c2 would you agree that e = mc2 is a correct description of the relationship between energy and mass?

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
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 Message 102 of 243 (452388) 01-30-2008 9:06 AM Reply to: Message 100 by pelican01-30-2008 8:37 AM

Re: Keeping it simple
 What does e/c2 represent?

m

e = mc2

divide both sides by c2

e/c2 = m

 Once more my contention is that many perceptions of E=MC2 are in fact, misconceptions.

Yes, you've expressed some of them yourself, providing a wonderful example of the thread's topic; that it is about getting matter travel at impossible speeds so that it becomes energy, for example.

 This is science that is supposed to answer all evolutionists questions and because it is physical proof, creationists are supposed to accept it on face value without a hope of understanding.

Relativity doesn't come into biology. There simply isn't enough energy involved to make it necessary to take relativity into account.

 I really don't dispute that the equasion is correct.

You seem to have doubts that it has been experimentally confirmed. So, if you would be so kind as to answer the question: Would you agree that if we were to measure, e, m, and c and we were to find that e=mc2 that would confirm the equation was accurate?

If yes: then creationists don't have to take at face value. They can look at the confirmatory experiments themselves. Even perform some of them if they can get the funds.

If no: why not? By definition if we were to observe that e=mc2 surely that confirms that e=mc2?

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

 Message 109 of 243 (452596) 01-30-2008 7:31 PM Reply to: Message 108 by pelican01-30-2008 6:52 PM

Re: Keeping it simple
 Ok Thanks. This equasion e/c2=m, is the same value as e=mc2. yes?

It's the same equation rearranged, yes. They are identical 'statements' 'worded' differently.

18 = 2 x 32

means the same as

18\32 = 2

 What does m equal? Genuine question. I don't know how to do it.

If you are trying to solve for m, you need to measure e and c. m of course is mass. So if you measure the energy and the speed of light you can use this equation to solve for mass.

 The formula for 'm' will hopefully clear this up.

I have already give the formula. The formula is

m = e/c2

Does that now clear this up? If not let me explain:

At rest, something with mass will still have energy!

This is interesting. The old equations would tell us that the energy of an object of given mass depended on it having some velocity.

energy = 1/2m v2

Now Einstein has described a universe where something can have a velocity of zero and still have energy. That is a big claim. So we measured this prediction. It turned out to be true. Voila. Travelling at any speed, even impossible ones is nothing to do with the equation. Once we start talking about travelling at a velocity things get a little different, because travelling at speed requires energy which produces a corresponding mass.

 I see that in some expressions of the equasion, it becomes a testable formula and other expressions of it are a balanced mathematical equasion that remains a theory.

There is only one expression of the equation

e = mc2

You can substitute various things that represent e or m and if there is work to be done, you can include that. That's it. No other ways of expressing it. It is a factual claim about how energy and mass are related. All we need to do is measure the way energy and mass are related. There is nothing else to it.

I already covered the issue of it being a theory. It is not, it is the result of modifying Newton's laws in accordance to mathematical principles and theory. The result is a law, a description, of the relationship between energy and mass. This relationship can be measured. It turns out the equation correctly describes this relationship to a high degree of accuracy.

 I contend that when it is in the form of a theory, it is not testable. When it is an equasion it balances in numerical form. When it is a formula it is testable.

The theory is relativity. Relativity has been tested.
The law is a prediction of the theory.
It is a prediction that has been confirmed as true, within a high degree of accuracy. It is more accurate than it's predecessors, Newton's laws.

The question I am asking is very simple. Do you agree we can test whether the formula is actually an accurate description of the real world by measuring the real world values of e, m and c and seeing how they are related?

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

 Message 113 of 243 (452623) 01-30-2008 8:25 PM Reply to: Message 111 by pelican01-30-2008 8:05 PM

Re: E=MC2 experiments explained in simplest forms
 I need a simplified version which I believe you are perfectly capable of doing but don't try. I have no evidence to prove this. It is purely my observation.

One thing you could do is increase the velocity of something. This will increase the amount of energy that something has. If e=mc2 is true, we should find that the mass of the something will also increase. This has been done, incidentally.

However, it is practically impossible to run an experiment where energy is turned into a brick or something easy like that.

The two reasons are as follows:

1) The amount of energy required is enormous. When a government is given the choice of creating 1kg of stuff versus providing electricity for the nation for the next however many years...they tend to go for the electricity option.

2) When you create matter in this fashion you also tend to create anti-matter which has a nasty habit of combining back with matter to form energy again. We can try and separate the anti-matter out though that is massively difficult to do. Even if we managed to end up with 1kg of matter, it would be in the form of basic particles. We'd have to then figure out how to make those form atoms of the appropriate variety. This is enormously difficult and impractical too. If we wanted something that was heavy enough to form a brick, we'd need to build something akin to a star to do it.

So the simpler way, as I was saying, would be to increase the energy of something and measure the corresponding increase in mass.

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
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 Message 115 of 243 (452634) 01-30-2008 8:39 PM Reply to: Message 112 by pelican01-30-2008 8:24 PM

basic maths
 When I went to school a long time ago those mathematical equasions would mean thus-

What browser are using using? Does it support all html tags? On my browser the equations are not 18 = 2 x 32 but 18 = 2 x 3(squared)

the two is smaller and higher denoting the squared symbol. 2 x 9 = 18, see?

I was mimicking the e=mc2 formula to make it easy for you to translate the principle to that.

 Do the letters in e=mc2 not represent a measurable number?

No. They represent two things which will always be equal in value. They represent an equality:

e has the same value as mc2

 This post has everything tied up in knots and you are supposed to be helping me understand. What goes on?

If you don't understand basic algebra, how are you going to cope with understanding the consequences of relativistic physics? Here is a simple formula:

F = ma

Measure the mass, measure its acceleration and you can now know how much force was required to give it that acceleration. F = ma does not represent a measurable value. It represents how three measurable values are related to one another. They are related by virtue of F being the same number as the product of m and a.

e is related to m and c by being the same as m x c x c

It really is that straightforward. Reading anything else into it will tie you in knots.

 Is it a formula, an equasion or a theory?

In is an equation that is derived from modifying a whole bunch of equations to match up with how the universe should work according to a theory.

 Which one are you describing?

The equation. The theory of relativity is much more difficult to explain. Let me reword the question:

Do you agree we can test whether e=mc2 is actually an accurate description of the real world by measuring the real world values of e, m and c and seeing how they are related?

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

 Message 128 of 243 (452936) 01-31-2008 8:18 PM Reply to: Message 126 by johnfolton01-31-2008 6:36 PM

Re: Energy =mass * speed of light squared ?
 It just seems like an incredible amount of energy in one atom like a mini black hole.

It is an incredible amount of energy. And we've measured it, and confirmed that it is an incredible amount of energy. It is nothing like a mini black hole. In order for it to be a mini black hole it would have to have a much higher density than your average run of the mill day to day atom.

 It sounds like this would support string theory like energy divided by speed of light squared would equal a mass almost infinititly small in comparision to the size of the atom?

The mass of an atom is not anywhere 'near' infinitely small. It is very small, though.
.

 Meaning energy divided by matter going the speed of light time cancels out or that time is dependent on how lights speed is factored.

The velocity of the mass is not part of the equation (see my first post for a more accurate statement).

 Is this why its believed were seeing the past from the present in that time cancels out when energy divided by mass approaches the speed limit of light?

We are seeing into the past when we look at very distant objects since it takes time the light to get to us. That's all. Not really relevant to the equation at hand other than the idea that c is a constant and finite.

 It just seems that by moving the forumla the speed of mass can be increased if its converted to energy.

The speed of the mass isn't in there. If you do put it in there, increasing the speed of the mass increases its energy and thus its mass. Reading all this stuff into it is leading you down crazy paths of thinking. It simply says that a thing's energy and a thing's mass are proportional to one another. Increase the energy and you increase its mass. Increase the mass and you increase its energy. In a nutshell, that's all it says.

When you get that idea, you can consider plugging in the masses velocity. You will find that as it approaches the speed of light the mass (and energy) approaches an infinite value and the amount of work needed to increase the velocity further also approaches infinite. Thus you cannot make a mass travel at the speed of light since it requires infinite amount of work to be done (at least in the UK, you just can't get the staff).

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
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From: Manchester, UK
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 Message 151 of 243 (453317) 02-01-2008 8:12 PM Reply to: Message 150 by johnfolton02-01-2008 7:51 PM

Re: mass * the speed of light squared = energy ?
 Your formula is only based on time in mass not in motion

Plug it in if you want to do it:

`   (   MC^2                 )e =( ------------- - MC^2   )  + MC^2   ( (1-(V^2\C^2))1/2        )`

Of if you want the easy version

e = w +mc^2

However, if you want to start working things out accurately and correctly, the maths is going to get obscene very quickly. Since it isn't on topic here, why bother going down that road?

 Observations particles with a variety of velocities have shown that time dilation is a real effect.

Described by a separate equation:

`t =       t'    --------------    √(1-(V^2/c^2)`

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 521 days)
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 Message 159 of 243 (453432) 02-02-2008 8:04 AM Reply to: Message 158 by pelican02-02-2008 7:34 AM

 The concept I held was so ingrained in me as a belief, I had no hope of knowing I had a misconception. It has been really hard work and taken a few kicks up the arse for me to see this. This is the same for everyone. Everyone holds on to their ingrained beliefs because they have no way of knowing if it is false.An old saying comes to mind "you can't see the woods for the trees."Very apt. Thanks to all participants.

For those about to learn, we salute you! I'm really happy you managed to take a step back and look and see the wood, even just a glimpse of it. There is much yet to be discovered, and I am not well versed in the terrain much beyond where we now stand - Lay on, Heinrik,
And damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!' :-D

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