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E=mc2
28-01-2005, 07:38 PM
Post: #1
E=mc2

I found last night's Horizon programme interesting. Did anyone else see it? It showed how Einstein's discovery of e=mc2 was used to develop the atomic bomb. The interest for me was I never knew what e=mc2 means, but now I do! For the uninitiated, it means that what originally was thought of as two separate things (energy and mass) were in fact two sides of the same coin, and that theoretically, small amounts of mass can be converted into massive amounts of energy. An example they gave was that the energy contained in a small glass of water could, if released, provide the total enegy consumption of London for a week. The Hiroshima explosion, which destroyed the whole city, was the result of converting less than half a gram of uranium into energy!

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29-01-2005, 11:29 AM
Post: #2
E=mc2
survivorfan Wrote:The Hiroshima explosion, which destroyed the whole city, was the result of converting less than half a gram of uranium into energy!

Good Lord!! Can I re-cap? Does e=mc2 mean that using the same process as the Hiroshima bomb people used, mean that you could feed 1 glass of water to the whole of London? If so why don't they do it??
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29-01-2005, 01:00 PM
Post: #3
E=mc2
Flip Wrote:Good Lord!! Can I re-cap? Does e=mc2 mean that using the same process as the Hiroshima bomb people used, mean that you could feed 1 glass of water to the whole of London? If so why don't they do it??

No it doesn't mean that Flip. It means that if you were able to convert the atoms in a glass of water from matter into energy, it would provide the equivalent energy to all the electrical power used in Lonon for a whole week.

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29-01-2005, 02:37 PM
Post: #4
E=mc2
Chernobyl Flip!

When we run out of natural fuel sources, this may be the only alternative left open to us. Hopefully by that time there will be a way to ensure that nuclear power is a stable and safe way of providing energy.

Then there's the issue of what to do with the spent material - plutonium doesn't degrade very easily and no one is going to want it buried in their back garden.
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29-01-2005, 04:57 PM
Post: #5
E=mc2
I didn't see this programme SF, but I wish I had 'cos I think I would have found it very interesting.

Which is odd, because 5 years ago I would have though it sounded like the dullest programme on earth! Nowdays though, I find that my mind is more opento subject which I previously found dull (physics being a prime example) and I have a yearning to know about them. Perhaps it is because I appreciate now that these things affect allofus in one way or another.

Or perhaps it's because I'm getting old :wacko:

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29-01-2005, 06:57 PM
Post: #6
E=mc2
No you're not getting old Karen. At school I had no interests in the sciences whatsoever - they bored me rigid. Now I wonder why I didn't pay more attention. Although no one can answer the age old conundrum of life the universe and everything (except Douglas Adams), I now find myself wanting to find out more about what makes the physical world we live in what it is. Saddly my poor little brain can't cope with the enormity of it!
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29-01-2005, 07:23 PM
Post: #7
E=mc2
karenh Wrote:I didn't see this programme SF, but I wish I had 'cos I think I would have found it very interesting

I think it's repeated tonight Karen, 8.10pm on BBC2.
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29-01-2005, 10:13 PM
Post: #8
E=mc2
Voice of reason Wrote:I think it's repeated tonight Karen, 8.10pm on BBC2.

Awwww, thanks Vor. unfortunately, I've only just seen this post :sad:

And guess what....

After sitting through the first half of two very boring films, Mr H and I gave on the TV and decided to go the bed. I am brushing my teeth whilst reading this. We were desperate for something decent to watch tonight.

It is now 10:10pm and I missed the programme. Again.

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