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165

E=mc²

OLogy Series
physics
card
165

E=mc²

OLogy Series
physics

Albert Einstein is famous for making many revolutionary discoveries. But perhaps Einstein's most famous discovery was his equation E=mc². In science, equations are used to explain many phenomena that we cannot see with our eyes. Einstein's famous equation shows the relationship between mass and energy. The more mass an object has, the more energy it has.

In the equation E=mc2, the value "m" stands for:

mass

multiply

mom

Are you right?

Correct!

Mass is the amount of stuff that something has inside of it. In E=mc2, "m" stands for mass. Einstein proved that things that contain a little bit of mass also contain huge amounts of energy.

In the equation E=mc2, the value "E" stands for:

equals

energy

eleven

Are you right?

Correct!

Energy is what makes things happen. It heats things up and makes them move. Energy cannot be created or destroyed—it just changes forms. The energy that created our universe billions of years ago is still around today.

In E=mc2, the number 2 (exponent) above the "c" means that light must be multiplied by itself one time.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

The speed of light is 670 million miles per hour. In E=mc2, "c" equals the speed of light. 670 million mph multiplied by 670 million mph equals 448,900,000,000,000,000 (mph)2.

The value "c" in Einstein’s famous equation equals the speed of light.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

The "c" in the equation comes from the Latin word celeritas, which means swiftness. Light is the only thing that can go 670 million miles per hour. It’s the universal speed limit.

Discovered by: Albert Einstein
E: energy
m: mass; the amount of matter or stuff that something has inside of it
=: allows us to compare two things that are related
c2: speed of light squared; 670 million mph multiplied by 670 million mph = 448,900,000,000,000,000

Image credits: Amanda Duffy and Eric Hamilton.