# Thread: Did Einstein get it wrong?

1. I was thinking the other day, and I thought about how light travels in circles. If you look at a candle in the dark, you see a small circle of light; the sun emits light in a sphere, and so on. So if light works in a circle, then how come it is E=MC^2, and not something like E = m c π r 4, which is how you find the surface area of a sphere? (Where 'π' = Pi, r = radius, and the others remain unchnged)

Could you please explain to me if I am wrong, and if so then how?  2.

3. Originally Posted by asxz
I was thinking the other day, and I thought about how light travels in circles. If you look at a candle in the dark, you see a small circle of light; the sun emits light in a sphere, and so on. So if light works in a circle, then how come it is E=MC^2, and not something like E = m c π r 4, which is how you find the surface area of a sphere? (Where 'π' = Pi, r = radius, and the others remain unchnged)

Could you please explain to me if I am wrong, and if so then how?
I think the circle is actually an illusion of photons slowely seperating from the source.  4. Originally Posted by Manynames Originally Posted by asxz
I was thinking the other day, and I thought about how light travels in circles. If you look at a candle in the dark, you see a small circle of light; the sun emits light in a sphere, and so on. So if light works in a circle, then how come it is E=MC^2, and not something like E = m c π r 4, which is how you find the surface area of a sphere? (Where 'π' = Pi, r = radius, and the others remain unchnged)

Could you please explain to me if I am wrong, and if so then how?
I think the circle is actually an illusion of photons slowely seperating from the source.
In fact, supposing i am correct, you might even get an equation to come out of the critical radius of illumination.  5. Originally Posted by Manynames Originally Posted by Manynames Originally Posted by asxz
I was thinking the other day, and I thought about how light travels in circles. If you look at a candle in the dark, you see a small circle of light; the sun emits light in a sphere, and so on. So if light works in a circle, then how come it is E=MC^2, and not something like E = m c π r 4, which is how you find the surface area of a sphere? (Where 'π' = Pi, r = radius, and the others remain unchnged)

Could you please explain to me if I am wrong, and if so then how?
I think the circle is actually an illusion of photons slowely seperating from the source.
In fact, supposing i am correct, you might even get an equation to come out of the critical radius of illumination.
So what does that mean?  6. I was thinking the other day, and I thought about how light travels in circles. If you look at a candle in the dark, you see a small circle of light; the sun emits light in a sphere, and so on. So if light works in a circle, then how come it is E=MC^2, and not something like E = m c π r 4, which is how you find the surface area of a sphere? (Where 'π' = Pi, r = radius, and the others remain unchnged)
You seem to be confusing the mass-energy equivalence with the light emitted through chemical reactions. The mass-energy equivalence simply gives us the amount of energy of an object with a certain mass; the light, emitted, however, is due to the acceleration of electrons during combustion.

If you wish to use E=mc^2, you can only find out how much energy an electron, atom/ molecule has, and so on, or how much energy it will be converted into. Light from a candle doesn't follow Einstein's equation, because einstein's equation isn't meant to be applied to it.

Further, light doesn't work in a sphere; it appears to do so because individual photons are being radiated in all directions, forming, effectively, a bright sphere.  7. Originally Posted by asxz Originally Posted by Manynames Originally Posted by Manynames Originally Posted by asxz
I was thinking the other day, and I thought about how light travels in circles. If you look at a candle in the dark, you see a small circle of light; the sun emits light in a sphere, and so on. So if light works in a circle, then how come it is E=MC^2, and not something like E = m c π r 4, which is how you find the surface area of a sphere? (Where 'π' = Pi, r = radius, and the others remain unchnged)

Could you please explain to me if I am wrong, and if so then how?
I think the circle is actually an illusion of photons slowely seperating from the source.
In fact, supposing i am correct, you might even get an equation to come out of the critical radius of illumination.
So what does that mean?
What's puzzled you?  8. Originally Posted by asxz
I was thinking the other day, and I thought about how light travels in circles. If you look at a candle in the dark, you see a small circle of light; the sun emits light in a sphere, and so on. So if light works in a circle, then how come it is E=MC^2, and not something like E = m c π r 4, which is how you find the surface area of a sphere? (Where 'π' = Pi, r = radius, and the others remain unchnged)

Could you please explain to me if I am wrong, and if so then how?
Light travels in straigt lines, it does not bend nor can it be bent, if you perceive the path of light being a little kinky, watch out for the huge mass nearby which is curving space time.  9. Originally Posted by Megabrain Originally Posted by asxz
I was thinking the other day, and I thought about how light travels in circles. If you look at a candle in the dark, you see a small circle of light; the sun emits light in a sphere, and so on. So if light works in a circle, then how come it is E=MC^2, and not something like E = m c π r 4, which is how you find the surface area of a sphere? (Where 'π' = Pi, r = radius, and the others remain unchnged)

Could you please explain to me if I am wrong, and if so then how?
Light travels in straigt lines, it does not bend nor can it be bent, if you perceive the path of light being a little kinky, watch out for the huge mass nearby which is curving space time.
You are wrong that curved paths are not real, but you would have most certainly been correct if you had said, ''Nevertheless, the shortest distance between two points will always be a straight line,'' :-D . Not everyone knows that, and it's quite ineteresting, at least, i think.  10. Originally Posted by Manynames Originally Posted by Megabrain Originally Posted by asxz
I was thinking the other day, and I thought about how light travels in circles. If you look at a candle in the dark, you see a small circle of light; the sun emits light in a sphere, and so on. So if light works in a circle, then how come it is E=MC^2, and not something like E = m c π r 4, which is how you find the surface area of a sphere? (Where 'π' = Pi, r = radius, and the others remain unchnged)

Could you please explain to me if I am wrong, and if so then how?
Light travels in straigt lines, it does not bend nor can it be bent, if you perceive the path of light being a little kinky, watch out for the huge mass nearby which is curving space time.
You are wrong that curved paths are not real, but you would have most certainly been correct if you had said, ''Nevertheless, the shortest distance between two points will always be a straight line,'' :-D . Not everyone knows that, and it's quite ineteresting, at least, i think.
I think he meant exactly what you just said. Gravity is a bending of space, which light simply follows. Light itself isn't bent. In fact, I think talking about bending light becomes meaningless if not seen in this way.  11. I recall from a long time ago a quote allegedly from Einstein. "The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but some straight lines are necessarily curved."
It appealed to my sense of contemplating two apparently mutually exlcusive concepts simultaneously.  12. Originally Posted by John Galt
I recall from a long time ago a quote allegedly from Einstein. "The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but some straight lines are necessarily curved."
It appealed to my sense of contemplating two apparently mutually exlcusive concepts simultaneously.
Then it is decided.  13. Originally Posted by John Galt
I recall from a long time ago a quote allegedly from Einstein. "The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but some straight lines are necessarily curved."
It appealed to my sense of contemplating two apparently mutually exlcusive concepts simultaneously.
I heard a similar quote The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but some straight lines are straighter than others

The shortest route between London and Sidney is a straight line, the quickest curves round the surface of the earth.  14. It's talking about curvature. In Euclidean space straight lines are the shortest distance. But in non Euclidean space, eg: positively curved or negative curved space, the shortest distance is a curve.  15. refraction is a form of 'light bending', is it not? Originally Posted by asxz
I was thinking the other day, and I thought about how light travels in circles. If you look at a candle in the dark, you see a small circle of light; the sun emits light in a sphere, and so on. So if light works in a circle, then how come it is E=MC^2, and not something like E = m c π r 4, which is how you find the surface area of a sphere? (Where 'π' = Pi, r = radius, and the others remain unchnged)

Could you please explain to me if I am wrong, and if so then how?
You are thinking of the wave front of EM radiation, rather than either particles or rays. In truth, all waves can be expressed as either of these 3 forms seperately, but only one at once. So, considering the wave front, a photon is meaningless, whilst considering a photon makes the wave front meaningless. A ray also excludes both of these, and is exluded by them.  16. refraction is a form of 'light bending', is it not?
Lol, yes, but it doesn't curve.

Light travels in straigt lines, it does not bend nor can it be bent, if you perceive the path of light being a little kinky, watch out for the huge mass nearby which is curving space time.
Would have to be quite a huge mass; even the sun can only produce a bending of about one arc-second. A candle simply cannot produce any noticeable light curvature.  17. Did Einstein get it wrong?
Absolutely!

He should never left his steady and secure job at the patent office and trade it in for the insecure existence as a scientist.

He got lucky, but God doesn't play dice. You don't read about the cases where it all went horribly wrong.  18. What I really mean is:

How does Einstein's equation apply to the speed of light squared, when - as you have all pointed out - it travels in a straight line in all directions.(This is what creats the illusion of the candle I originally pointed out) At least it should be the speed of light cubed ( implying that it is sent in all direction, left right, up, down, forwards and backwards.) or the speed of light x pi x 4 (which is how you would get the surface area of a circle as big as the distance that light can travel in a second.)

Because surely the energy given off in photons would be spent in all directions, and not just left/right, forwards/backwards as the ^2 would suggest.

Does that make sense/clear it up?  19. The squaring eliminates the direction bias, actually. Think of it in terms of kinetic energy: 1/2 m v^2. v is velocity, which is a vector (has a direction and a magnitude). So why is kinetic energy a scalar and not a vector (why is it a number and not a number and direction)? Because by squaring velocity you're making the directional component meaningless (same answer regardless of direction). It's kind of a neat trick really Another way: light doesn't travel in a circle, it travels in a sphere (we live in a 3D spatial universe). The surface area of a sphere is 4 pi r^2. Notice the squared term again.  20. Originally Posted by asxz
What I really mean is:

How does Einstein's equation apply to the speed of light squared, when - as you have all pointed out - it travels in a straight line in all directions.(This is what creats the illusion of the candle I originally pointed out) At least it should be the speed of light cubed ( implying that it is sent in all direction, left right, up, down, forwards and backwards.) or the speed of light x pi x 4 (which is how you would get the surface area of a circle as big as the distance that light can travel in a second.)

Because surely the energy given off in photons would be spent in all directions, and not just left/right, forwards/backwards as the ^2 would suggest.

Does that make sense/clear it up?
The exponent of a constant within a mathematical equation is not necessarily linked to a meaning you are implying. c is a universal constant that appears very often in many equations without actually saying anything about light itself. Just like this famous equation that actually should be . It applies to matter, not photons necessarily. Would you say that matter travels with the speed of light? Not really. By the way: You could also change the formula to without changing the meaning. The other thing is that the units have to fit. An energy has the unit Joule: A cubed velocity just does not make sense. Like numsgil correctly pointed out: This is the same even in classical mechanics, where the kinetic energy of a particle also scales with its velocity squared.  Bookmarks
 Posting Permissions
 You may not post new threads You may not post replies You may not post attachments You may not edit your posts   BB code is On Smilies are On [IMG] code is On [VIDEO] code is On HTML code is Off Trackbacks are Off Pingbacks are Off Refbacks are On Terms of Use Agreement