he two most famous equations in the history of Physics are Newton’s F=ma and Einstein’s e=mcSquare. Einstein formulated his equation in 1905. This equation changed the classical concept of energy and mass, by adding the speed of light as a fundamental constant. To understand Einstein’s equation a few terms that are the basis of this equation must be understood.
a) Mass. This is a fundamental property of any body or object irrespective of size. It can be understood as the amount of matter in it. Mass in physics is denoted by the letter m and its unit is the kilogram. In classical mechanics it is understood as a numerical measure of its inertia. Mass is directly related to the weight of a body or object. Thus the equation for this is w=mg. Here w= weight of the body, m= mass and g= acceleration due to gravity. The acceleration due to gravity is a fundamental constant on earth and is 32ft per second. This is the force of attraction exerted by the earth mass on the mass of the body.
We must understand that the weight of the body is the force exerted by the body and its unit is Newton.
b) Speed of Light. This is denoted by the symbol c and is a fundamental constant. The speed of light cannot be exceeded. Einstein postulated that the speed of light which is 1,86,000 miles a second or 299,792,458 meters per second is a fundamental constant. The speed of light in vacuum does not vary irrespective of the position of the observer.
c) Energy. Energy is release of heat, which is stored in matter. This can be released when a process of fusion takes place between the atoms of various masses. Pure energy is electromagnetic radiation.
One of the principles expounded by Einstein was time as a dimension in all measurements. This was a revolutionary concept and went far beyond anything that Newton had thought off. Einstein correlated his equation in a time frame and came to the conclusion that in real terms mass and energy is the same thing and given the right conditions one can turn into the other.
This is the basic concept of the equation e=mc square
e= energy released
m= mass of the body
c= Speed of light.
Thus a small walnut can store enough energy to power a city. This is because the energy stored in a walnut is the square of the speed of light which is astronomical at 300,000,000 meters per second.
Einstein reached his conclusion by going over the research of Madam Marie Curie, who observed that an ounce of radium continuously emitted 4,000 calories of heat per hour. Einstein concluded that radium was constantly converting part of its mass to energy, exactly as per his postulate that mass and energy is the same thing. This principle of equivalence of mass and energy was a revolutionary concept. But earlier some scientists had touched upon this idea. In the 18th century, a French scientist Antoine Lavoisier had concluded that matter does not get destroyed but changes its form. He had burnt a piece of wood and found that weight of the resultant gases, residue and ash was exactly the same as the weight of the original material.
Einstein developed on this and also made use of the famous equation e=1/2 mvsquare.Here V is the velocity and ma the mass and e the energy. Thus it was known that e released was square of the velocity. Einstein further enlarged this concept to include c in place of v.
Einstein s equation also explains the concept of nuclear energy. In simple terms one gram of a substance can release enough energy to generate electricity or destructive material that could either power an entire city or destroy it.
One of the most famous uses of this equation is in a nuclear reactor. In a plant of 1000 MV all that is needed is a set of fuel rods. These rods can generate electricity for 5 years. During this period only 6 ounces of matter will be transformed into energy, enough to power the city of Chicago for 5 years. This is the result of E=mc2.