E=mc2 - Einstein and the World's Most Famous Equation

Everyone recognizes E=mc2 as the most famous equation in the world, but do you know how it came to be and what it means? In today's beautiful and fascinating documentary, you'll get to learn the history and the intellectual struggles that had to be overcome by many great minds before Einstein would eventually combine them all into the world's most famous, elegant and powerful equation of all time.

E stands for energy. In this part of the documentary we get to visit the brilliant work of Michael Faraday, the modest and amiable British scientist who discovered the electromagnetic force through a series of insightful experiments.

M stands for mass. It was the French aristocrat Antoine Lavoisier, father of modern chemistry and one of history's greatest geniuses, together with his beautiful wife Marie Anne, who discovered that the universe is an enclosed system governed by the law of conservation of mass.

C stands for celeritas, which symbolizes the speed of light. Faraday had long suspected that electricity and magnetism were intimately connected to light, but it would be his protege James Maxwell who would prove this with mathematical certainty and precision.

2 stands for the square power. The German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz, one of my intellectual heroes, had theorized that the energy of a moving object is proportional to its mass and the square of its velocity, and not directly proportional, as had been thought by Newton and accepted by the intellectual community of the time. It would be the charismatic and enthusiastic Émilie du Châtelet who would combine Leibniz's theory with Gravesande's empirical observations to disprove Newton's theory.

Once all the ingredients were available, it would be Albert Einstein who, in a burst of absolute genius and intellectual creativity, would combine them into one of the most powerful and elegant equations of all time: E=mc2. Soon thereafter, Lise Meitner, through her work on nuclear fission, would prove Einstein's theory of matter-energy equivalence.


Click here to watch a documentary about the relationship between E=mc2 and the atomic bomb, and here to watch all kinds of documentaries about Einstein.

By the way, did you notice how the actor who played Einstein looks a lot like Brian Greene with a mustache? Kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it?
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