Albert Einstein’s mass-energy equation E=mc2 is inadequate and valid only under certain conditions, with a proper study not carried out, an Indian researcher claimed recently.
The famous equation, revealed by Einstein in 1905, means energy is equal to mass multiplied by the speed of light squared.
Ajay Sharma, a Shimla-based researcher and assistant director for education of the Himachal Pradesh government, had his technical paper “The mathematical derivation or speculation of E=mc2, in Einstein's September 1905 paper, and some peculiar experiments” published last December by Russia’s Bauman Moscow State Technical University.
According to Sharma, Einstein’s theory had not been completely studied.
"It's only valid under special conditions of the parameters involved, e.g. number of light waves, magnitude of light energy, angles at which waves are emitted and relative velocity," he explained to a local news agency last Jan. 10.
Einstein’s Equation Scrutinized
Sharma’s paper raised the different parameters which Einstein’s 1905 paper possibly did not consider. The equation considered just two light waves of equal energy, emitted in opposite directions via uniform relative velocity.
The equation, said Sharma’s paper, expressed the fact that mass and energy are the same interchangeable physical entity.
“It’s illogical,” said the Indian researcher of the equation, which is obtained from Lmc2 via replacing L with E (all energy) without derivation. Einstein left out E in the derivation, Sharma pointed out.
His published book titled “Beyond Einstein and E=mc2,” too, noted that Einstein was not the theory of relativity’s original propounder. Instead, the book said, Einstein acquired data from existing literature and published it in the German scientific journal Annalen de Physik.
Sharma further said that Einstein’s much-celebrated work was not peer-reviewed prior to publication, and that the first thoughts of relativity came from Galileo Galilei in 1632. He argued that Einstein merely published existing works such as those of Galilei, Henri Poincare in 1898, and Joseph Larmor in 1897 under his own name.
The 51-year-old said that Einstein’s well-established theory has to be reexamined and critically analyzed to find new results.
Sharma’s Disputes Parsed Down
An Indian analysis, on the other hand, examined Dr. Sharma’s claims and pointed out its own potential lapses and blind spots.
“E = mc2 isn’t wrong… it’s often overlooked that it’s an approximation,” said science editor and blogger Vasudevan Mukunth, providing the full equation: E2 = m02c4 + p2c4.
These approximations, according to the analysis, are derived from Einstein’s special theory of relativity, which describes the space and time connection.
The counter-argument continued to pinpoint the challenges that beset Einstein’s general theory from the beginning. It emphasized, however, that Einstein’s main accomplishment does not lie in inventing something new – in the context of Sharma’s claim of him ripping off existing scientific ideas.
“[His accomplishments are] in having recombined and interpreted a trail of disjointed theoretical and experimental discoveries into a coherent, meaningful and testable theory of gravitation,” Mukunth wrote, adding that it was not a case of plagiarism – but instead produced “something distinctively original” later on.
The analysis maintained that Sharma’s claims of the equation’s insufficiency are difficult to prove, given no circumstance at present in which they appear to fail.
The inability of general relativity – even quantum physics – to meet halfway in a so-called quantum theory of gravity, it added, cannot be attributed completely to an assumed inadequacy of the mass-energy equivalence.
Meanwhile, the scientific community worldwide continues to study the general relativity theory.
Last Jan. 2, researchers from Pennsylvania State University discovered a method for using radio signals from space in order to test a principle of the theory – said to be a couple of times more efficiently versus earlier systems using gamma-ray bursts.
Photo: Dominic Bartsch | Flickr