[plug] [OT] e=mc2

James Devenish devenish at guild.uwa.edu.au
Thu Apr 22 14:35:05 WST 2004

(More feedback about

In message <20040422053416.GR104785 at morwong.ucc.gu.uwa.edu.au>
on Thu, Apr 22, 2004 at 01:34:16PM +0800, Nick Bannon wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 22, 2004 at 01:00:02PM +0800, Garry wrote:
> > Can't vouch for the content, I only went to Yr10 at school. 8^)==
> [...]
> It gets the point across, though I saw a couple of errors...

> http://livefromcern.web.cern.ch/livefromcern/antimatter/factory/AM-factory01.html
> 	"Elements heavier than iron are unstable."
> Elements heavier than bismuth are all unstable (radioactive) but
> there's lots of radioactive isotopes that are lighter than that.

I would also suspect that it's not really proper to say that elements
heavier than iron are unstable if you don't also say that elements
lighter than iron are unstable, or that elements with odd (non-even)
atomic numbers are less stable than those with even numbers, etc.

Also, I personally find it disappointing to see this e=mc^2 formula
touted so much without qualification, as the formula for all real
materials is more complex. In particular, I am of the understanding that
e=mc^2 is a simplification that applies to materials with no kinetic
energy (which is something that I'm not sure can be achieved even at
absolute zero, thus ruling out all known physical phenomena).


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