E=mc^2 before Einstein

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  • Thread starter Demystifier
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  • #26
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Einstein only used Maxwell as far as I can see on a quick glimpse:
http://users.physik.fu-berlin.de/~kleinert/files/1905_17_891-921.pdf
of which ##E =mc^2 ##
https://www.zbp.univie.ac.at/dokumente/einstein4.pdf
is just a corollary:
Is a body's inertia depended on his energy content?

I assume that inertia in this context was what has been new. Others only dealt with radiation energy before. O.k. his deviation is about the loss of energy by radiation, too, but he related it to inertial mass.
 
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  • #27
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The most underappreciated aspect of Einstein's original ##E = mc^2## paper is the introduction of the "rest energy" concept. It kind of flies under the radar because he doesn't name it—he just takes it for granted as a natural consequence of the conservation of energy paired with SR—but it's at the heart of the thought experiment. Remarkable stuff.
 
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  • #29
Mister T
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Is there any credible reference to anyone else's work, where the equation is derived in full generality before Einstein?
I don't think that even Einstein himself claimed his derivation(s) have full generality.
 

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