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Can someone describe E=mc^2 to me in laymans terms

  1. Oct 17, 2012 #1
    Please do your best to describe E=Mc^2 to me in the most plain English you know and as basic as possible without leaving out details. Any links you think would help would be great.

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2012 #2
  4. Oct 17, 2012 #3
    I'm not sure if this really helps:

    Energy = Mass*(speed of light)^2

    You probably already know this. However, in case you don't, I hope this helps. As you can see, this number can get very large. Anyway, imagine a hydrogen atom - essentially a proton. This hydrogen atom has a very small mass (can't remember what it was in kg). To find the energy of this hydrogen atom- just multiply by the square of the speed of light - which should amount to a fairly large number in comparison to the mass of a hydrogen atom. This is because the theorem above states the amount of energy that the mass would be turned into if it was turned into raw energy!

    Once again- hope this helps!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2013
  5. Oct 17, 2012 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    https://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=3588 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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