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If you see "relativistic mass" in your first-year physics textbook, complain! There is no reason for books to teach obsolete terminology.

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The "relativistic mass" of an object is really just the same as its energy, and there isn't any reason to have another word for energy: "energy" is a perfectly good word.

well, I'm a little confused now, because if energy and relativistic mass are the same thing then why do we have the equation E = mc^2? in the equation, E is the energy and m is the relativistic mass, right? that equation seems to say to me that there is a propper use for the term "relativistic mass" because while it may be related to energy by a constant, it's not the same thing. could anyone shed some light on this for me?

thanks