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October 04, 2005



I heard another take on that although I like yours as well. According to Joe Lykken, at a lecture he gave at Fermilab concerning the possibility of extra dimensions, the equation originally showed momentum in each of the dimensions being related to time (mass) with C^2 merely being a conversion factor between time and space.

Another old timer from my astronomy club told me after the lecture that he condensed it to convince politicians the need to invest in particle physics.

e=mc^2 was used to point out that one raisin has enough energy to power up New York City for a day.

I don't know if all of the above holds water, but I thought I'd mention it.


I like hearing all the different views on the origins of e=mc^2.

The one I heard is a touch different as well. From a lecture on hidden dimensions I attended at Fermilab about 16 months ago, Joe Lykken, the speaker, left me with another perception.

He claimed that e=mc^2 was not the original equation but an equation showing momentum in 3 dimensions is related to time ( mass) with a conversion factor between time and space being = c^2.

"c^2" apparently was merely the ratio that resulted and had nothing to do with light speed.

According to some old timers in my astronomy club, he then condensed it down to e=mc^2 in order to demonstrate to politicians that a raisin has enough energy to power up all of New York City. Particle accelerators became something to invest in.

Anyway, that is the way I heard it. I do like yours as well. Who knows? Just attach a probability arrow to each version.

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