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39
votes
6answers
2k views

What keeps mass from turning into energy?

I understand the energy and mass can change back and forth according to Einstein. It is fluid; it can go from one to the other. So, what keeps mass from just turning into energy? Is there some force ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Does $E = mc^2$ apply to photons?

Photons are massless, but if $m = 0$ and $E=mc^2$, then $E = 0c^2 = 0$. This would say that photons have no energy, which is not true. However, given the formula $E = ℎf$, a photon does have energy ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

How does rest mass become energy?

I know that there's a difference between relativistic rest mass. Relativistic mass is "acquired" when an object is moving at speeds comparable to the speed of light.Rest mass is the inherent mass that ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is there a controversy on whether mass increases with speed?

Some people say that mass increases with speed, some people say that the mass of an object is independent of its speed. I understand how some (though not many) things in physics are a matter of ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What was Albert Einstein's proof for $E=mc^2$?

Most people know the famous equation: $$E=mc^2$$ What were his steps of thinking for this equation that helped us discover so much about our world?
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What are good examples to demonstrate Einstein's mass-energy relation [duplicate]

According to Einstein's mass-energy relation mass and energy are interchangeable. Can you provide some examples where: Mass gets converted into energy. Energy gets converted into mass.
4
votes
5answers
735 views

Does $p=mc$ hold for photons?

Known that $E=hf$, $p=hf/c=h/\lambda$, then if $p=mc$, where $m$ is the (relativistic) mass, then $E=mc^2$ follows directly as an algebraic fact. Is this the case?
6
votes
4answers
383 views

Is $E^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$ correct, or is $E=mc^2$ the correct one?

I have been having trouble distinguishing these two equations and figuring out which one is correct. I have watched a video that says that $E^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$ is correct, but I do not know why. It ...
3
votes
5answers
6k views

Conversion of mass to energy in chemical/nuclear reactions

Is mass converted into energy in exothermic chemical / nuclear reactions? My (A Level) knowledge of chemistry suggests that this isn't the case. In a simple burning reaction, e.g. $C+O_2\to ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How to explain $E=mc^2$ mass defect in fission/fusion

What is the nature of nuclear energy? This is closely related to the correct explanation of mass defect. I did some research of that topic and cannot come to a single comprehensive and consistent ...
3
votes
3answers
937 views

What is the meaning of speed of light $c$ in $E=mc^2$?

$E=mc^2$ is the famous mass-energy equation of Albert Einstein. I know that it tells that mass can be converted to energy and vice versa. I know that $E$ is energy, $m$ is mass of a matter and $c$ is ...
0
votes
1answer
233 views

Increase in cloth's mass

When we iron our clothes does the mass of the cloth increase, since energy transformation and transfer happens, Einstein's energy mass relation comes to action and causes increase in mass. Am I right ...
2
votes
4answers
477 views

Conversion of mass and energy

First of all I am not a scientist and all these doubts are coming from my curiosity. When Googling about Einstein's $E = mc^2$. I understand that mass and energy are convertible. What it exactly ...
17
votes
3answers
376 views

Comparing predictions and reality for the gravitational attraction due to light beams

While doing some on-the-side reading, I stumbled across this question: Do two beams of light attract each other in general theory of relativity?. Great question and a great, easily understandable ...
1
vote
3answers
728 views

Mechanism for the gravitational field generated by photons

This question follows from a schooling I received in this thread. I figured that photons do not interact with gravity, except when they've spontaneously converted into a particle-antiparticle pair. ...
3
votes
3answers
523 views

How can we deduce the relation $m = \frac{m_0}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}$ between relativistic mass and rest mass in special relativity? [duplicate]

I was watching a video on Youtube which deduce Einstein's relation $E=mc^2$ and the process of deduction used the relation between relativistic mass and rest mass, which is $$m= ...
10
votes
4answers
541 views

How does $E=mc^2$ put an upper limit to velocity of a body?

How does $E=mc^2$ put a upper limit to velocity of a body? I have read some articles on speed of light and they just tell me that it is the maximum velocity that can be acquired by any particle. How ...
2
votes
1answer
276 views

Fusion vs. Fission

I understand why fission generates large amounts of energy when the nucleus is split, but then why does fusion generate such large amounts of energy. If fission releases energy when some mass is lost ...
1
vote
2answers
138 views

Can we make usable energy from subnuclear particles?

I understand mass and energy are the same, but in this question I will be talking about mass being turned into usable energy (electricity/heat/etc). We can make our energy through chemical reactions ...
5
votes
5answers
9k views

What is Energy made of?

We have the famous equation $E = mc^2$, and we also believe that matter is made of particles. Then, What is the energy made of? If the two are interchangeable, there must be some common building ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Does a cooling mass lose mass as it radiates?

Assume we have a red hot cannonball in space. It starts off with mass M at 1000K. Later it has cooled by radiation to 100K. Has the mass decreased?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How does energy convert to matter? [duplicate]

To my understanding, matter and energy are one and the same. Shifting from $E$ to $M$ in Einstein's famous equation requires only a large negative acceleration. If $M$ really is $E/c^2$, does that ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Mass converted to energy in a common fire?

In a common wood fire such as a campfire, is matter converted to energy or is it simply an exothermic chemical reaction and all the mass can be accounted for in the ash and soot?
4
votes
2answers
826 views

Does the mass of a body absorbing photons increase?

Let's say I have a photon collector in orbit around the sun. It manages to collect photons perfectly efficiently, that is, without radiating off any energy. Then, using Einstein's equation: $$E = m ...
3
votes
3answers
468 views

Has $E=mc^2$ been experimentally verified for macroscopic objects with potential energy?

In relation to this question: What is potential energy truly?, I'm wondering if $E=mc^2$ has been experimentally verified to hold true for macroscopic objects with increased potential energy? I'm ...
2
votes
3answers
361 views

Einstein equation $E=mc^2$: Does it mean an object without mass does not have energy?

Einstein equation $E=mc^2$ where $E$ is energy, $m$ mass, and $c$ the speed of light in vacuum. So does it mean objects without any mass does not posses energy for eg lights photons does not have mass ...
1
vote
2answers
756 views

Why do photons add mass to a black hole?

Why do photons add mass to a black hole? When photons are taken irreversibly into a black hole does the mass of the BH increase?
-2
votes
6answers
312 views

What can $E=mc^2$ do? [closed]

In the famous equation $E=mc^2$, the variables stand for: $E$ is energy, $m$ is mass, and $c$ is the speed of light (in vacuum). And I understand the equation fairly but limited in knowing in ...
3
votes
3answers
10k views

Why does an object with higher speed gain more (relativistic) mass? [duplicate]

Today, in my high school physics class, we had an introductory class on electromagnetism. My teacher explained at some point that an object with a very high speed (he said it started to get somewhat ...
2
votes
3answers
421 views

Mass in terms of energy

Given the relationships between mass and energy in relativity, and given that particles with mass can be created given energy over the threshold energy, and vice-versa, can we say that mass is simply ...
0
votes
3answers
381 views

Mass or no mass?

Do all forms of energy have a mass? We know by $E=mc^2$ that mass and energy are directly proportional, but there are massless forms of energy such as electro-magnetic waves. I am also told that there ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

We create systems with different values of Energy? [closed]

I understand that Energy is a conserved quantity in a system. A number, that's always the same to the system. However, don't we determine such a number? I mean, we can create systems(Or study them ...
0
votes
4answers
436 views

Mass-Energy relation

Einstein mass- energy relation states $E=mc^2$. It means if energy of a paricle increases then mass also increases or vice-versa. My question is that what is the actual meaning of the statement ...
10
votes
3answers
18k views

When does 'energy' turn to matter?

I always hear about matter converting to 'energy' - fusion, fission. When does it go the other way around? What conditions lead to it? Are there reproducible experiments on this topic?
2
votes
3answers
439 views

Do objects have energy because of their charge?

My gut feeling tells me things should have energy because of their charge, like they have energy because of their mass. Is this possible? Has it been shown? If not then what is missing to make such ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Can one create mass from energy?

Due to $ E =m c^2 $, one can convert mass to energy. A classic example would be matter/anti-matter annihilation to produce energy (photons, etc.). Can one do the reverse? So could one do something to ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

Does everything with mass or energy have a gravitational pull?

As small as it may be, does every 'thing' have a gravitational pull? That is, something with mass or energy. No matter how obsolete or negligible it may be, is it there? If so, how is it calculated? ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Could any object have zero mass? [duplicate]

Energy and mass are interrelated. As everything has energy could any object be massless? For example a photon is a packet of energy but still it is considered to be a massless particle. Why is it so?
5
votes
1answer
242 views

Is it possible for photon to run in circle by its own gravity?

I have heard that gravity came from energy and momentum so photon has gravity too. Then there are theory state that photon has energy tied to frequency. So if a photon has very very high frequency ...
4
votes
2answers
279 views

Does relativistic mass exhibit gravitiational effects?

Groundhog Day Update, 2014 The simple and dumb way to ask my main question is this: If something like a neutron start goes sailing by at very close to the speed of light, say fast enough to double ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

In nuclear fusion reaction, what is the percentage of mass converted to energy?

I read somewhere that it is about one percent of the mass, but I find this too high. Also I have done some calculations, for example, the Tsar Bomba was 50 MT bomb and weighed about 27 tons. Although ...
3
votes
5answers
138 views

Mass and Energy

Would the mass of burnt firewood be equal to the mass of firewood before burning? Then where does that heat come from? According to Einstein's equation, $E=mc^2$ Shouldn't there be some mass going ...
2
votes
3answers
465 views

How much energy is needed to create an electron?

I know how to calculate the electrostatic energy of a sphere (it has a well defined radius). But how can I calculate the electrostatic energy of an electron as it is a point particle? By electrostatic ...
1
vote
2answers
191 views

Does spacetime have a “mass” value? or What is “Spacetime” made out of?

When measuring the MASS within the Universe, does "space" or "spacetime" have a value? I only ask, because when speaking of expansion, space is expanding. Could it be possible, to reverse the ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

Gravitational interactions by energy or by mass?

The mass-energy equivalence, first established by Einstein is an important and highly discussed phenomenon in physics. Without claiming much knowledge about high-end discussions on this topic, I would ...
0
votes
3answers
191 views

Question on energy mass conversion

I have a question regarding the energy-mass conversion. Well, when a particle starts moving with a speed comparable to that of light, its (relativistic) mass increases that means some matter is ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

Getting from $E^2 - p^2c^2 = m^2c^4$ to $E = \gamma mc^2$ [closed]

What is each mathematical step (in detail) that one would take to get from: $E^2 - p^2c^2 = m^2c^4$ to $E = \gamma mc^2$, where $\gamma$ is the relativistic dilation factor. This is for an ...
9
votes
2answers
610 views

Is everything made of massless particles?

Photons have no mass. Yet they interact gravitationally, as all energy does, with other energetic and massive particles. This means that if you put multiple photons in a system, you get something that ...
4
votes
1answer
255 views

What has $E = mc^2$ to do with nuclear powerplants?

In life, when you talk about nuclear energy, there always happens to be a guy who says that famous Einstein's equation. "Yeah, they just convert mass to energy, $E = mc^2$ ya know?" When I think ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

Mass-Energy Equivalency

We call $E=mc^2$ the Mass-Energy Equivalency because it equates mass and energy together. But, by that same logic, shouldn't we call $E=\frac{1}{2}(mv^2)$, the equation of kinetic energy in Newtonian ...