Einstein's Mass-Energy Equation, Volume II: Quantum Mechanics and Gravitation, Empirical Tests, and Philosophical Debates

Francisco Fernflores

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In this second volume, we examine the role that Einstein’s mass–energy equation played in the development of two important theories in early twentieth century physics: de Broglie’s “matter waves” and general relativity as a theory of gravitation. We also discuss the first empirical confirmation of E = mc2 by Cockcroft and Walton. We investigate the somewhat surprising fact that Cockcroft and Walton’s paper reporting their result makes no mention of either Einstein or his famous equation. Finally, we examine some of the contemporary debates concerning how the mass–energy relation should be taught and understood philosophically. We close with some suggestions for future research.

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Francisco Fernflores

Dr. Francisco Fernflores earned a BSc in philosophy and physics from the University of Toronto and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He has published several articles in philosophy of science and the history and philosophy of physics. Currently, Dr. Fernflores is professor of philosophy at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA where he enjoys teaching philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, formal logic, and philosophical classics.