Is Einstein wrong?

Most non-physics people who do not know the difference between a bosom and a boson have heard of the equation that arose out of Albert Einstein’s famous theory of special relativity:

E = mc2

This simply says that energy is equal to mass times the speed of light squared. The actual equation that Einstein came up with is:

E0 = mc2

Here, E0 is called rest mass, the mass that something has when it is not accelerating. Minimizing motion and maximizing rest is something that I can identify with.

This is a beautiful equation (mathematicians like to call certain equations “beautiful”) and its simplicity probably makes it very appealing. One can solve it and rearrange it without having to resort to MATLAB or Mathematica. Not that this is the only such equation. There is, for instance:

This is also a beautiful equation that informs quite a bit in a very succinct formula. Yet I never hear sports announcers make references to Maxwell’s equations.

Oh well, naively letting my weight and mass be the same thing within the constant (?) gravity field of my humble abode, a place I have spent an inordinate amount of time resting in for most of the last year, it easy to calculate the energy that I have. I arrive at: 7.2 x 1018. Carrying through the units, as any good engineer or scientist must, we also arrive at: (kilograms x meters squared) / seconds squared. This just happens to conform to the SI unit of joules, ergo (another cool mathematical term) I am consistent.

That is a ginormous number, one that even the United States government would be impressed by. They have not (yet) managed to spend that many dollars (or pennies) in one year. Not from lack of trying from our feckless “leaders.”

One would think that with such a large amount of energy, I could put up numerous quality antennas, paint both the inside and outside walls of my house, rebuild the kitchen, achieve DX honor role and many other things all before Good Morning America signed off.

However, I have noticed something. Over the last several years, my weight has crept upwards. I suppose that this could be because a huge blob of viscous lower Earth gunk has settled below my humble abode and thus increased the gravity field that I rest in. It is always handy to have something to blame one’s foibles on, anyway.

But, at the same time, my total energy has been on the decline. This does not make sense; according the Einstein’s equation, every time eat too many nachos, my energy should soar.

My doctor informs me that my situation is not exceptional to just me. I’m not sure since I suspect that few of her other patients geek out over the phenomenon that one can synthesize an arbitrary waveform by the summation of a judicious selection of plain sinusoids of proscribed amplitudes and phases. I do not know what is wrong with those other patients but this seems like such an incredible thing that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission would invoke the famous line: “If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.” However, it can be easily proven that this is in fact valid.

My good doctor and many other medical professionals seem to frequently say that the way to increase one’s energy is to decrease one’s weight. This would imply that there is a reciprocal relationship between energy and weight and thus Einstein’s equation should be written as:

E = c2 / m

The medical profession has seemed to show that Einstein’s most famous equation is wrong.

QED, ipso-facto and all that jazz.