What Does E=mc2 mean?

E = mc2 is a formula that shows, in mathematical terms, the relationship between energy and mass. In this formula, E is energy, m is mass, and c is the speed of light. The number 2 to the upper right of the c means that c is squared, or multiplied by itself.

This formula, first devised by Albert Einstein, shows how much energy would be produced if a quantity of matter could be completely changed into energy. Suppose that just one gram of matter, or 1/28 of an ounce, were converted into energy.

To find out how much energy would be produced, we would multiply one gram times c2. The speed of light is about 30 billion centimeters per second, so the speed of light times itself equals 30 billion times 30 billion, a number that consists of 9 plus 20 zeroes!

This is the number of ergs (a very small amount) of energy that would be produced from the one gram of mass. But the number of ergs produced by converting one gram of matter into energy is so large that this amount of energy could power an ordinary light bulb for some 35,000 years!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

13 thoughts on “What Does E=mc2 mean?”

  1. Can you explain it (E=mc2) in a bit more easy to understand way???
    That would be great.
    Anonymous. ><>

  2. The equation E=mc^2.

    E= energy
    M= mass
    C^2= speed of light (670,000,000 mph)…only squared so its actually= 448900000000000000 mph.

    so basically, if you take a small piece of mass..say a baseball, which weighs 5.25oz, and convert that baseball into PURE energy, the amount of joules (energy) it gives off would be equal to the speed of light squared (c^2) multiplied by the weight of the baseball. In this case the product would be 2356725000000000000 joules of energy…which is an enormous amount of energy.

  3. dude E=mc^2
    its saying energy= mass times(X) the speed of light squared….
    basically if u wanted to convert matter in to energy this is your formula…..

  4. Actually, the variable “c” comes from the Latin word “celeritas,” meaning speed or swiftness.

  5. Let me bring it down, as it’s not hard to understand. If you split the Theory up like this, it’s much easier to understand.

    E= Energy.
    M= Mass.
    C= Speed of light.
    2’= Squared.

    Thus Energy (E) = Amount of Mass (M) times by the Speed of light (C) Squared (2′).

  6. I now get it E=MC2
    So to explain it if you want to produce a quality of matter to be changed into energy you need the formula E=MC2 to find the energy in matter you need to M X C 2 and you got your answer LOVE PHYSICS

  7. If E=MC2 does that mean that light energy is equal to its self squared, since to travel at the speed of light a item has to have 0 mass. So the calculation would be E= 0 X light2, so light energy must be equal to its speed squared.

  8. The formula E=MC2 reveals that how much a matter has energy in itself. It shows that we as a matter have enormous energy. So why we are not using that inner energy. Please explore your inner potentialities & give your best.

  9. Vin- No one said anything about “light energy”! “something has to have 0 mass to go the speed of light”? Tard! In this dimension mass cannot obtain the speed of light, as time slows the traveling object down. Idiot!

Leave a Comment