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What is an example of E=m*c^2?

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Quick Answer

One example of E=m*c^2 is the equation that demonstrates the conversion of 1 kg of matter into 9.0*(10^16) J of energy. Examples of E=m*c^2, or the mass-energy equivalence equation, can be found in physics classrooms in equations that convert matter to energy and vice versa. The formula is based on the theory that matter is directly proportional to energy.

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Full Answer

E=m*c^2 is one of the best-known formulas in physics. E stands for energy, m is mass and c is a constant. In this case, the constant is the speed of light, or 3.0*10^8 m/s, and c^2 is equal to 9.0*10^16 (m/s)^2. Energy is usually calculated in joules, represented by J, and 1 J is equal to kg*(m/s)^2. In order to make conversion convenient, in mass-energy balance, mass is usually given in kilograms, or kg.

Many of the energy equations studied in physics classrooms happen on a very small scale, such as the conversion of an electron into a gamma ray photon. When electrons and positrons collide, their matter is destroyed and converted into energy through the mass-energy equivalence equation. In this case, the mass of an electron is 9.1*(10^(-31)) kg, and when it is multiplied by the square of the speed of light, it produces 1.638*(10^(-12)) J.

Energy can similarly be converted to matter by dividing the speed of light squared.

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