Why is #E=mc^2# important, and what does it tell us?

1 Answer
Nov 16, 2015

Answer:

#E=mc^2# tells us that mass and energy are equivalent.

Explanation:

#E=mc^2# tells us that mass can be converted into energy and vice versa.

The #m# term includes the amount of mass an object gains as its speed increases. Actually #m=m_0/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2# where #m_0# is the rest mass and #v# is the speed of the body.

It is an important equation as it relates energy to mass. It changes the conservation of energy to the conservation of mass-energy.

It explains the energy emitted by radioactive decay and nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. It also explains the mass/energy change when a high energy photon, which has energy but no mass, splits into a particle and its anti-particle which both have mass.