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presume that most people who have heard about Albert Einstein are also familiar with his theory of special relativity which explains how space and time are linked. This is the theory that made him famous in the world of physics as well as the world of science because it has opened a new dimension in the mind of human beings. A new definition of time which even to this very day we struggle to comprehend.

The importance of this theory

This theory was first published in 1915, however, Einstein had been working on it since 1905, gathering many theoretical results as well as empirical evidence to prove the reliability of this theory. Even with the theory published, most people at the time didn’t have the intelligence to understand this theory, nor its importance to the world of science.

Albert Einstein explaining E=mc2 (Source: Rare Historical Photos)

I am not very good with maths so I will not try to explain how the equation or formula proves the theory, here is a link for that if you are really interested. What I can tell you is something which is more important about the theory and that is the three laws it presents in the world of science:

  1. Objects in motion (or at rest) remain in motion (or at rest) unless an external force imposes change.
  2. Force is equal to the change in momentum per change of time. For a constant mass, force equals mass times acceleration.
  3. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Although the possibility of such a theory had been discussed in the 19th century, it was Einstein who made true logic of it and did the right math to prove the theory. At the beginning of the 20th century, this theory was the pinnacle of science and there was a small race between scientists for the first to actually prove the theory to be reliable.

A lost letter

Something that had recently occurred was the finding of an extremely rare letter sent out by einstein in 1946 to one of his biggest critics known as Ludwik Silberstein who was a Polish/American physicist. What makes the letter so rare is Einstein’s handwritten E=mc2 equation, including his blind-stamped personal Princeton letterhead.

A rare letter from 1946 in which Einstein describes E=mc2 (Source: Science Alert)

Based on the works of archivists from the Einstein Papers Project at Caltech, this is one of four papers that behold the E=mc2 equation written by Einstein. The letter was auctioned this year by a Boston-based company and everyone was surprised to see the prices thrown around once the auction had begun. No one expected that the final price will reach $1.2 million.

The letter was written as a response to a query from Silberstein which mentioned that the formula was simply too complex for others and it is something that only Einstein can grasp. In the letter, Einstein proved him wrong, here is a quote from the letter translated (as the letter is written in German).

“Your question can be answered from the E = mc2 formula, without any erudition,”

The collectors who bided on the letter were drawn at the importance of this equation and how much more expensive the piece will become in 20 to 40 years as this theory is the foundation of modern physics.

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