In Einstein’s theory of relativity, energy is equivalent to matter, they’re essentially synonymous and in his famous equation Energy (E) is proportional to mass (m), with the square of the speed of light (c2) being the proportionality constant E = mc2, in other words…but why?
Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, in the imaginatively titled why does E = mc2 (and why should we care)”, attempt to explain what it all means. They describe what is meant by energy, matter, and why the speed of light relates the two in what they describe as a “little book” without resorting to simply describing the theory…again. Even Stephen Fry was impressed by Cox, asking: “Can someone this charming really be a professor?”
Sticking with a cosmic theme, JR Minkel and Scientific American feature in the second pocket book in the series of Instant Egghead Guides, this time “The Universe” is encapsulated in just 221 pages from Jupiter’s spots small black holes and from what quarks are made of to why rubber bands get hot when you stretch them.
Third summer science read in this post is GI Joe – The life and career of Dr Joseph B Kirsner by Dr James L Franklin. Kirsner is planning to celebrate his 100th birthday on September 21, 2009, by going to work, his usual routine because retirement was never a consideration for the University of Chicago gastroenterologist. In a world where youth is marketed beyond the pale it is time for some senior respect.