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U.S. History Topics » Famous People » Scientists

Einstein's Big Idea

tells the story behind the world's most famous equation, E = mc2. Learn about its discovery and legacy. Meet scientists whose experiments laid the groundwork. Read about the unknown patent clerk's bleak career prospects before his "miracle year" (1905). Hear top physicists describe the equation. Discover its role in the careers of three young physicists. Explore time dilation and the energy in a paper clip. Find a teacher's guide and transcript of this PBS program. (Public Broadcasting Service, National Science Foundation)

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Interesting Fact:

Einstein realized that the world described by Isaac Newton, in which one could add and subtract velocities, and that described by James Clerk Maxwell, in which the speed of light is constant, could not both be right. He decided to solve the problem—and special relativity was the result.
Image of a hand writing E=mc2 on a chalk board

The equation explained

 This website also appears in:
Science »  Physical Sciences »  Physics

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