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Does $E=mc^2$ Require Relativity?

Tony Rothman
Feb 2024
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摘要原文
It is universally believed that with his 1905 paper ``Does the inertia of a body depend on its energy content?" Einstein first demonstrated the equivalence of mass and energy by making use of his new special theory of relativity. In the final step of that paper, however, Einstein equates the kinetic energy of a body to its Newtonian value, indicating that his result is at best a low-velocity approximation. Today, several characters debate whether a mid-nineteenth century physicist, employing only Galilean and pre-Maxwellian physics could plausibly arrive at the celebrated result. In other words, is Einsteinian relativity necessary to derive ${\mathcal E}=mc^2$?
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