Sep
21
2005

E = mc2 turns 100

In his second paper on special relativity, submitted on September 27, 1905, Albert Einstein stated his now-famous formula describing the relationship between (E)nergy, (m)ass, and a (c)onstant speed of light. Einstein titled the paper by posing the question: "Does the inertia of a body depend on its energy content?" The answer, of course, was E = mc2. Einstein was a 26-year-old patent clerk at the time, and physicists have relied on his formula ever since.

Now, 100 years later, historians herald 1905 as Einstein's "miracle year" because of E = mc2, along with several important achievements he made earlier that year. These included scientific papers that described the relationship between speed and the passage of time, provided proof of the existence of atoms, and outlined how light functions as both a particle and a wave. Einstein's papers from 1905 first appeared in "Annalen der Physik," a leading physics journal at the time.

In 1921, Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics. He died in 1955.

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