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Where does $c$ squared come into play in the equation $E=mc^2$. Multiplication obviously but how does energy equal mass times the speed of light?

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marked as duplicate by DumpsterDoofus, Brandon Enright, Kyle Kanos, joshphysics, Qmechanic Mar 17 '14 at 8:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Could you clarify what you mean by "why"? –  joshphysics Mar 17 '14 at 0:34
possible duplicate of How does rest mass become energy? –  DumpsterDoofus Mar 17 '14 at 0:39
I'm not sure this is actually a duplicate, since neither of the linked questions actually address the role of the constant $c$ in the equation. I thought we already had a question about that particular point, but I can't find it. –  David Z Mar 17 '14 at 2:01
Out of the box thinking by somebody brilliant wanting to correlate electromagnetic lorenz transformations to particles with masses. c^2 makes the function dimensionally correct, do not forget kinetic energy is 1/2m*v^2, m is th classical mass and v is velocity. –  anna v Mar 17 '14 at 5:05

1 Answer 1

This mass–energy relation states that the universal proportionality factor between equivalent amounts of energy and mass is equal to the speed of light squared. This also serves to convert units of mass to units of energy, no matter what system of measurement units is used. To find out how much energy an object has, multiply the mass of the object by the square of the speed of light. Now we multiphy by $c^2$ because when mass is converted into energy, this energy is by definition moving at $c$. Pure energy is understood in terms of electromagnetic radiation which always moves at the speed of light

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