According to the Theory of General Relativity, objects curve the space around them. UA physicist Andrei Lebed has proposed an experiment using a space probe carrying hydrogen atoms to test his finding that the equation E=mc2 is correct in flat space, but not in curved space. Credit: NASA

Testing Einstein’s E=mc^2 in outer space

January 4, 2013 by Daniel Stolte

(Phys.org)—University of Arizona physicist Andrei Lebed has stirred the physics community with an intriguing idea yet to be tested experimentally: The world’s most iconic equation, Albert Einstein’s E=mc^2, may be correct or not depending on where you are in space.

With the first explosions of atomic bombs, the world became witness to one of the most important and consequential principles in physics: Energy and mass, fundamentally speaking, are the same thing and can, in fact, be converted into each other.

This was first demonstrated by Albert Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity and famously expressed in his iconic equation, E=mc^2, where E stands for energy, m for mass and c for the speed of light (squared).

Although physicists have since validated Einstein’s equation in countless experiments and calculations, and many technologies including mobile phones and GPS navigation depend on it, University of Arizona physics professor Andrei Lebed has stirred the physics community by suggesting that E=mc^2 may not hold up in certain circumstances.

Read more: Testing Einstein's E=mc^2 in outer space — phys.org.

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