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e=mc2?

>> Monday, January 18, 2010



Many times myself and a lot of you have seen this famous equation used in Einstein's theory of relativity. Most of us have seen it, a lot of us can "say" what the variables stand for (energy is equivalent to mass times the speed of light squared) but what does it really mean? Math was never my strong suit in high school or college and you will be surprised that this famous equation can be quite simple when explained properly.
Quite simply the equation states that any amount of energy can be converted into matter and more importantly to us humans, any amount of matter can be converted to energy. Lets break this down a bit.....


This bottle contains one liter of water. If we plug this into e=mc2, this one bottle of water can produce 90,000,000,000,000,000 (quadrillion) joules of energy. Whoa! Todd! You lost me!..... Basically all I did was take one liter of water which, with the ease of the metric system, is approximately one kilogram times the square of the speed of light in meters which is 300,000,000 meters/second. There! Do that easy but long number multiplication and you get the energy in joules!

But Todd, what the heck is a joule? Good question. We as normal people rarely use joules in our daily lives, well, especially in North America. Basically a joule of energy is how much energy it takes to toss this bottle of water 4 inches into the air. So something more practical would be 1 joule measured over the span of one second is a "watt".......100 joules in one second would light your typical 100 watt light bulb for...you guessed it ..one second! So, back to that bottle of water, literally that one liter or one kilogram of water could power a 100 watt light bulb for 250,000,000,000 (billion) hours or 28,500,000 (million) years! Imagine that while you drink this cool refreshing bottle of water. In your hand is enough potential energy to solve the energy crisis! Of course, to create fusion energy is a lot harder than it looks and very dangerous if not controlled.
What blog of mine would be complete without some tie to astronomy?
The Sun, which is small as stars go, produces energy equivalent to 4 trillion trillion 100 watt light bulbs every SECOND......that is a "4" followed by 26 zeros! The sun has been doing this every second for 5 billion years and will continue to do so for another 5 billion years. So the Sun converts 5,000,000 tons of matter every second.......that's roughly 5.5 Golden Gate Bridges every second! I'm tired of doing the math........5 of those bridges is 804,000,000 bottles of water to the 5th power.....somebody else calculate that....
Boy! I'm thirsty! :-)


Sincerely,
Todd Gonzales


3 comments:

mmfiore January 18, 2010 at 3:20 PM  

As an alternative to Quantum Theory there is a new theory that describes and explains the mysteries of physical reality. While not disrespecting the value of Quantum Mechanics as a tool to explain the role of quanta in our universe. This theory states that there is also a classical explanation for the paradoxes such as EPR and the Wave-Particle Duality. The Theory is called the Theory of Super Relativity and is located at: Super Relativity
This theory is a philosophical attempt to reconnect the physical universe to realism and deterministic concepts. It explains the mysterious.

Marizela M. Zambrano January 20, 2010 at 8:13 AM  

interesting link... thanks for posting it!

Astro Todd January 22, 2010 at 8:15 PM  

Yes, very interesting. I think it is very possible that science in the next 50 years could need us to unlearn everything we know now as physics. Especially since what we see and feel makes up only 1% of the entire Universe. Thanks for the link.

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