What is it about?
In spite of many attempts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries at understanding why inertia, m, is associated with an irreducible energy, mc^2, its origin has remained a complete mystery to this day. But with our rapidly improving interpretation and understanding of cosmological measurements, we are now in a position of assessing the gravitational binding energy of a mass m to the rest of the visible Universe. It turns out that this energy is indeed mc^2, providing a likely fundamental explanation for Einstein's famous formula, E = mc^2.
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Why is it important?
The origin of Einstein's famous formula, E = mc^2, has remained a complete mystery for over a century. This paper presents a sober analysis of all the possible physical reasons for its existence, showing that only a gravitational influence can account for it. This paper thus has the potential of resolving one of the most important, yet enduring, puzzles in Physics.
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This page is a summary of: The origin of rest-mass energy, The European Physical Journal C, August 2021, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-021-09506-w.
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