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Why does E=mc2? (and why should we care?)

Professors Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw embark on an illuminating journey to the frontier of 21st century science to consider the real meaning behind the iconic sequence of symbols that make up Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2.


Professors Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw embark on an illuminating journey to the frontier of 21st century science to consider the real meaning behind the iconic sequence of symbols that make up Einstein's famous equation, E=mc2.
Breaking down the symbols themselves, they pose a series of questions: What is energy? What is mass? What has the speed of light got to do with energy and mass? In answering these questions, they take us to the site of one of the largest scientific experiments ever conducted. Lying beneath the city of Geneva, straddling the Franco-Swiss border, is a 27 km particle accelerator, known as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Using this gigantic machine - which can recreate conditions in the early Universe fractions of a second after the Big Bang - Brian and Jeff will describe the current theory behind the origin of mass.

Alongside questions of energy and mass, they will consider the third, and perhaps, most intriguing element of the equation: 'c' - or the speed of light. Why is the speed of light the exchange rate? Answering this question is at the heart of the investigation as the speakers demonstrate how, in order to truly understand why E=mc2, we first must understand why we must move forward in time and not backwards and how objects in our 3-dimensional world actually move in 4-dimensional space-time. In other words, how the very fabric of our world is constructed.


Speaker(s):

Professor Brian Cox | talks | www
Prof Jeff Forshaw | talks | www

 

Date and Time:

26 November 2009 at 7:00 pm

Duration:

1 hour 30 minutes

 

Venue:

The Royal Institution
21 Albemarle Street
London
W1S 4BS
020 7409 2992
http://www.rigb.org/

More at The Royal Institution...

 

Tickets:

Tickets cost £8 standard, £6 concessions, £4 Ri Members.

Available from:

For more information visit www.rigb.org or call the Events Team on 020 7409 2992 9.00am-5.00pm Monday to Friday

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