Discussing E=MC2
Published: December 11, 2009

For many years, I have been saying that Albert Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2 is wrong; it’s fatally flawed. Let me explain why. In the equation, E stands for energy, m stands for matter, or mass, and c2 stands for the speed of light squared. The equation says that energy is equal to matter, or mass, times the speed of light squared. In modern physics, it is taught that light travels at the constant speed of 186, 000 miles (300,000 kilometers) per second in a vacuum. Energy is defined as the ability to do work, such as moving things or giving heat or light. It is also defined as the ability of living things to grow. It is explained that energy has no mass or volume of its own, and that it is a content of matter. Matter is anything that takes up, or occupies, space, has mass, and reacts to gravity. Mass is the amount of matter contained in an object. Gravity is the force of mutual attraction between two masses. Mass is that which gives a thing its existence. Nothing can exist without mass, except void. Void is pure empty space or “nothingness”. It’s the opposite of matter. In reality, nothing exists but matter and void. We find that anything that can be named, except for the void, is either a property or activity of matter. As the ancient Roman Atomist Lucretius (c. 98-55) explained, “A property is something that cannot be detached or separated from a thing without destroying it, as weight is a property of rocks, heat of fire, fluidity of water, tangibility of all bodies, intangibility of vacuum.” Activity is the quality or state of being active, having or showing movement. An activity, or action, of a thing cannot under any circumstances be severed and separated from it.

It is important to understand that the properties and activities of matter cannot qualify as being “things” that are distinct from matter and can be classified as “not being matter.”

Before I continue with my discussion of Einstein’s equation E=mc2, let me make sure that you understand that the English word “energy” is taken from the Greek word energeia (from en, in, plus ergon, work, and from energos, active), the name given to any activity, or action, of a thing directed toward work. The ability of a thing to do work is called its dynamis, the Greek word for “power.”

I will reiterate: Matter is anything that takes up, or occupies, space, has mass, and reacts to gravity. Mass is the amount of matter in an object. All matter is made up of atoms. Atoms are the smallest particles of matter that can exist; the ultimate and smallest division of matter. They are the “carries” of gravity. Since it is impossible for them to come into existence out of nothing or pass away into nothing, they are eternal and indestructible. Being made up of atoms, every particle of matter in the universe attracts every other particle of matter. Also, being made up of atoms, matter cannot be destroyed into nothing, but only broken up into constituent atoms. However, aggregates, or compounds, of atoms can be changed from one form to another. This fact is the basis of the law of nature known as the law of the conservation of matter, which states that matter cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.

Einstein believed that matter can be changed into energy and energy into matter. He formulated the equation E=mc2 to express this belief. There are two basic problems with the belief. The first is that it violates the law of the conservation of matter. The second is that it’s based upon a false idea that energy is a content of matter. Energy is merely a name given to the activity of matter, or atoms. It’s not something that has no mass that matter can be changed into and vice versa. In reality, anything that’s called “form of energy”, such as heat, light, radio waves, and X-rays, is made up of atoms and is an activity of atoms.

As you can see, when we use the correct definition of energy, Einstein’s equation E=mc2 becomes a fatally flawed description of the relationship between matter and energy. Since all matter is made up of atoms, the best way to think of energy is as the activity of atoms directed toward work. Their work involves such activities as changing the form and phase of matter, moving matter, and producing heat and light. Their power to do work comes from their sheer existence and eternal motion. Their power can be calculated by using the formula P=f x s, where P stands for power, f stands for force, and s stands for speed. This formula says that power is equal to force times the speed of mass. Notice that this formula is very easy to understand, and that it does not violate the law of the conservation of matter. Nor is it based on incorrect definitions of energy and power. With the formula P=f x s, we have no need for the equation E=mc2. In modern physics, we are told that the great benefit derived from Einstein’s equation E=mc2 is that it made scientists aware that a tiny amount of matter could give off an enormous amount of energy, in the form of heat. You will find that when you use the formula P=f x s to calculate the power of a single atom, which has a tiny mass of only 1 x 10-30 grams, and travels faster than the speed of light, there is even a greater benefit. This is because it gives a valid description of the relationship between matter, power, and energy.



  1. Lucretius: On the Nature of The Universe (London: Penquin Books, Inc., 1951), p. 21.