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E=mc^2, The Equation That Changed the World. I dont know if any of you have read the book, but, in the book, give the gamma factor equation, gammefactor=1/sqrt[1-(v/c)^2], now, here are my questions.

1.) What really does the gamma factor represent?

2.) How did einstein come up with this equation?

3.) In the book, (physicist named Haller, Einstein, and Newton are talking) they go to find out how fast you would have to go to reach the center of the galaxy(Milkyway), in 30years(with time dialation), he says that the gamma factor would have to be 30,000/30, which is 1,000(corresponding gamma factor). How he doesn't state where he got 30,000 from, but I can see where 30 came from(30 years) but not 30,000. Now it doesn't state how far the person is traveling(earth to the center of the galaxy), that is all the information that is given.

Any help would be appreciated,

Thanks