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How can you explain E=mc2 simply to children?

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Quick Answer

The theory E = mc2 explains how it is impossible to reach or exceed the speed of light. Each letter stands for a specific physical quantity and the equation can be read as: energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. This means that more and more energy is needed in order to accelerate an object with physical mass to greater velocities.

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Full Answer

Energy comes in many different forms and is the power that drives many different processes. Mass is used to measure an object's inertia and its resistance to acceleration, and it can also be used to determine the total amount of matter contained within an object. The "c" used in this equation stands for the speed of light and refers to the Latin word "celeritas," which means "swift." The theory behind this equation states that mass and energy can mean the same thing and that mass is really just energy packed into a very compact form.

The theory behind this equation was first proposed in 1905 by a scientist named Albert Einstein, as part of a larger theory known as special relativity. This theory of mass-energy equivalence has played a major role in furthering our understanding of the universe, and E = mc2 has become one of the most famous and widely recognized equations in the world.

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