[written 1/10/2001]

From Newton to Einstein in 11 easy steps!

      (c)2021 by Rick Andersen


Everybody knows about the "common sense" laws of Physics that were systematized for us by Sir Isaac Newton in the 17th century. Albert Einstein's theories and equations, such as his famous E=mc^2, opened up the Atomic Age, and application of that equation led to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. That particular equation's revolutionary message was that Mass and Energy are equivalent-- two forms of the same thing-- rather than two completely separate things. But actually Einstein's equation was there all along... since the time of Newton! It's just that nobody recognized it; and if they had, no one would have known what to do with it.

In the sequence below, I will do some simple algebraic manipulation/rearranging-- and turn Newton's 2nd law into Einstein's Mass-Energy Equivalence:

F=ma -----> E=mc^2

* Force = mass x acceleration
*(1) work = force x distance
*(2) energy = work
* therefore, (3) energy = force x distance
* Since f=ma, (4) energy = mass x acceleration x distance
*(5) acceleration = speed / time
*(6) speed = distance / time
* So, (7) acceleration = distance / time / time OR--
* acceleration = distance / time^2
*(8) Energy, then, = mass x distance/time^2 x distance
* which leads to (9) energy = mass x distance/time x distance/time OR--
* energy = mass x distance/time x distance/time
* Since distance/time = speed, then (10) Energy = mass x speed^2
* And if speed = c (speed of light), then (11) E= m x c^2!
...E= mc^2 has been implicit in F=ma all along!

What do you think of that?


Back