Register to reply 
E2  p2c2 = m2c4  Meaning of symbols 
Share this thread: 
#1
Apr1310, 01:40 AM

P: 21

What do the symbols mean in the equation
E^{2}  p^{2}c^{2} = m^{2}c^{4} I know this is so basic, but I am really confused about what all are rest parameters here, and what all involve Lorentz factor... 


#2
Apr1310, 01:47 AM

P: 1,746

c = speed of light
m = rest mass of the object E = object's total energy p = object's momentum Eugene. 


#3
Apr1310, 02:07 AM

P: 21

so m is rest mass, while p is momentum with lorentz factor?



#4
Apr1310, 02:12 AM

P: 1,746

E2  p2c2 = m2c4  Meaning of symbols
[tex] p = \frac{mv}{\sqrt{1 v^2/c^2}} [/tex] Eugene. 


#5
Apr1310, 02:16 AM

P: 21

That means among all variables there (except E) only p has a lorentz factor.
Thanks a lot! 


#6
Apr1310, 07:27 AM

P: 227

No E has the Lorentz factor too:
[tex]E = \frac{mc^2}{\sqrt{1v^2/c^2}}[/tex] So you can see that even though E and p depend on the velocity, when you take the difference of their squares, the result is independent of the velocity. The result  [itex]m^2 c^4[/itex]  is said to be invariant (same for all observers). 


#7
Apr1310, 02:11 PM

P: 21

Well the point that E has lorentz factor too was quite obvious if p had and m didnt.



#8
Apr1310, 02:24 PM

Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 9,224

Note that the formulas in #4 and #6 only hold for massive particles, but the one in #1 holds for massless particles too.



#9
Apr1310, 05:33 PM

P: 21

@Fredrik : So for massless particles, if my third term becomes 0
then momentum should be [tex]p = \frac{h}{\lambda}[/tex] isn't it? 


#10
Apr1310, 05:53 PM

P: 1,568

p=E/c 


#11
Apr1310, 07:12 PM

P: 100




#12
Apr1710, 07:44 PM

PF Gold
P: 15

As the meaning of symbols has been exhaustively elucidated, I wish to respond to your remark about the importance of this relativist energy equation. You are absolutely right, the equation E^{2} = m^{2}c^{4} + p^{2}c^{4} is one of the most basics in physics. It demonstrates that energy as a whole consists of positive and negative energies.
Everything in nature exists in pairing, the energy is no exception. We may say that this pairing of energy is the prerequisite of the creation (and annihilation). As I stated in my reply to ZirkMan’s “What is spacetime made of?” energy is the only independent reality in nature (the spacetime is merely its structural quality) from which everything else is derived. How? Allow me to explain a little bit further. Energy as a whole tends to break its symmetry. Eventually it splits into its two opposite elements: the positive and negative energies. As such, the spacetime becomes polarized. When it happens, a hypersurface or more precisely hyperinterface is raising between the two, just like the interface of oilwater system. The 3space or, in a more technical term, the 3brane is thus created. I think the study of the brane should be done in this direction. 


#13
Apr1710, 07:53 PM

Sci Advisor
P: 8,470




#14
Apr1810, 12:13 AM

PF Gold
P: 15

In quantum mechanics the two square roots are complex number and therefore do not tend to separate neatly into positive and negative in a consistent way. In quantum mechanics, however, each of two roots has to be considered as a possibility, so even an unphysical negative energy has to be considered as a physical possibility. The relativistic expression (m^{2}c^{4}+p^{2}c^{2})^{1/2 }is, however, more problematic in that we do not normally have a clearcut procedure for ruling out negative square root. Paul Dirac found a way to resolve this problem. When he convinced that the negative frequency solutions could not be mathematically eliminated, he put forward an ingenious proposal which got rid of the negative energies, their effect being taken over by introducing the idea of antiparticles and what is called “Dirac sea” of negative energy. Now, Dirac sea of negative energy represents only the half of the reality. The give the whole picture, as I presented previously, there should be both oceans of positive and negative energies where the 3interface, our 3space, is arising in between. 


#15
Apr1810, 12:43 AM

P: 4,513

"...there should be both oceans of positive and negative energies..."
What's an ocean? Is this a physics term? 


#16
Apr1810, 12:52 AM

Sci Advisor
P: 8,470




#17
Apr1810, 02:35 AM

P: 4,513




#18
Apr1810, 10:30 AM

PF Gold
P: 15

Relativist energy is fourdimensional. What we know about energy in our [3D] daily life is only superficial. We perceive energy as a mere abstraction that has no existence apart from its relationship to other variables. The interface between these two 4dimensional oceans of energy is naturally 3dimensional: our 3dimensional space. 


Register to reply 
Related Discussions  
Basic question: meaning of partition of R into maximal connected intervals  General Math  1  
Meaning of: Indicate magnitude & direction of all vectors  Introductory Physics Homework  6  
Can anyone explain the physical meaning of spin in QM?  Quantum Physics  50  
About the meaning of words like is and are  General Discussion  12  
Insect Evidence in Mysterious Banana Squash Symbols  General Discussion  0 