Einstein and E=mc^2

Einstein and E=mc^2

2005, Science  -   35 Comments
Ratings: 7.69/10 from 45 users.

Einstein and E=mc^2Based on David Bodanis' bestseller, and shot on location, this is the story of history's most celebrated formula, E=mc^2, and the five great scientists who brought it to life.

The docudrama, which first aired in 2005 and which boasts an all-star cast, spans 250 years, and tells the human story behind the science.

The youthful romance of Einstein and his future wife Mileva is intertwined with some of the great scientific discoveries of the 19th century, which Einstein ultimately combined in his astonishing theory of relativity.

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35 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Bastin

    really it was very very informative

  2. Bastin

    very good documentary..

  3. bluetortilla

    Great stuff. I think we are just beginning now to have a common sense of the meaning of the equation. As the quantum realm now and up ahead still baffles most of us, the next quest is to discover a unified explanation of how the universe behaves. I believe that was what Einstein was working on in the last years of his life.

  4. A. Een Steen

    I agree with Simon Barratt. Newton explained many (until then) unexplained appearances in nature with his theories and formulas about forces (like F = m x a). He could for example explain whit his theories why the earth rotates around the sun. The only thing Newton couldn't explain was why matter 'exercises' forces. Einstein later argued that matter doesn't 'exercise' forces, but that matter curves space. For example: the earth actually goes in a straight line, but the sun consists so much matter that it curves the space around it, whereby the earth goes awry (in a ellipse). Einstein also argued that time isn't constant (like he also said about space) and that the speed of light is constant (doens't matter in what perspective of space you are). You are right, the formula E = m x c^2 is deduced from Newtons formula, but Einstein explained many things, Newton couldn't explain.

    (Sorry if my comment consists grammatical or spelling errors, my english isn't very good).

  5. simon barratt

    In response to - Yeah, E=MC^s. really similar to Newton's formula: F=MV^2

    Joe don't you get it...and everyone else for that matter who is trying to be clever. Einstein built on every bodies ideas like you should be doing, this is how we evolve and grow. Yes it is close to Newton but Newton didn't work out that the speed of light was the cosmic speed limit. Without Newton's work and many others he would not have reached these conclusions but you should all not be so flippant as say he plagiarised them because they clearly didn't write the equation e =mc2. Find that equation in history before Einstein and you have a point...and of course you won't.

    Now stop arguing and start learning.

    And another thing simply cutting and pasting from other websites is very sad and disappointing, you know who you are and should be ashamed.

    And James (sorry to single you out) you need to check you titles Maxwell never published Special Relativity only Electromagnetic Theory is his closest piece, an amazing contribution of course. I did not even bother to check the rest of your titles as the first was incorrect.

    Its seem to many of you would rather argue than research, however arguing is both fun and beneficial but only when following diligent research otherwise your are wasting every ones time.

    No doubt someone will comment on this thread...rest assured I wont be reading it, I will instead be watching more splendid documentaries and reading factually correct articles.

  6. Joe Steffen

    Yeah, E=MC^s. really similar to Newton's formula: F=MV^2.

    1. Ruben

      Ya U R Right.

  7. Aaylsworth

    Really enjoyed it! Even though it was a Docudrama....

  8. Guest

    Oh. E=mc^2 works all right.

    Einstein was upset for days because he was so distraught about all the lose of life from the atomic bombs.

    General and special relativity has been proven many times! By many different sources.

  9. Tom (369.tommo@gmail.com)

    @Other Ryan,

    You write: "..E=mc^2 has been thoroughly refuted.."

    Nothing against you personally here.

    The first point I'll make is that you have black and white stated that you do not know the conclusion to the film. Despite this, you have taken it upon yourself to write that it has been thoroughly refuted. Sounds to me like someone writing conclusions for the whole world to see without taking the time to even watch one documentary.

    The second point I'll make is that E=mc^2 and the Special Theory of Relativity it comes from both have over 105 years of people observing it to be true. That is its backup. Have you ever come up with something which has been observed as accurate the world over by generations of people for 105 years - and counting? Have you ever come up with anything like that?

    The third point I'll make is to invite you to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. It'd take you *years* to count the number of people who died there in August 1945. Tell the relatives of those deceased that E=mc^2 has been thoroughly refuted. Don't write back to me here. Catch a flight to Tokyo, Japan and then travel to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Find the relatives and tell them that E=mc^2 has been thoroughly refuted. No ifs. No buts. You have made the statement here to the entire world. Go and back it up in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Once you've done that, come back and tell me that E=mc^2 has been thoroughly refuted.


    1. Tyler

      Visit the Hadron Collider while you are at it.

  10. Other Ryan

    I don't know the conclusion to the film, but I'm fairly sure that E=mc^2 has been thoroughly refuted and that Einstein, himself, cursed the equation later in his life.

    1. memoiandi

      Is this a joke? If it's not, you're stunned...

    2. oklima

      You must be either heavily retarded or extremely religious to say such ridiculously ignorant things...think before you speak!

    3. Roberto Miguez

      You're confusing this with his thoughts on the cosmological constant, which actually have some bearing to reality anyway.

  11. Aureliusjr

    Amazing stuff.

  12. Regan4000

    Very, very, very well done.

  13. Rihards

    One thong I did not liked in the move is that Einstain rfers to God, however as to my knowlagde Einstein did not believed in a personal creator. That one I did not liked as it gives some additional inspiration to bougas Inteligent Design advocates which corupts the sience.

    1. Philip Bilén

      This was early in his life, I guess his beliefs changed through time.
      But surely he became and died as a deist, or maybe even an atheist.

  14. Rihards

    I would like to say that this is very good move but however I liked the book even better, maybe it is because I have read the book first and than the move, however I'v would like to advise to all who enjoyed the move to read the book as well.

  15. James

    1878 - James Maxwell in Scotland publishes Special Theory of Relativity in Encyclopedia Britannica which Einstein publishes as his own in 1905 without citing Maxwell
    1888- Heinrich Hertz publishes his paper on the photoelectric effect, a paper which Einstein failed to cite
    1898- Poincare in France wrote the paper on the theory of relativity, which never mentions Einstein, which Einstein plagiarized as one of his 1905 papers without citing Poincare
    1900- Max Planck and Wilhelm Wien of Germany develop the quantum theory which Einstein plagiarized as his "Light Quantum" paper in 1905, citing neither Planck nor Wien
    1903 - Olinto de Pretto publishes E=mc^2 in Atte, a scientific magazine known to be read by Einstein, which he later claimed as his own work and which he failed to cite
    1904- Friedrich Hasenohrl of Germany, citing J.J. Thomson of England and W. Kaufmann of Sweden, publishes E=mc^2 in same journal as Einstein plagiariazes as his own in 1905, failing to cite any of the three
    1905-Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard, whom Einstein's wife studied under, received a Nobel Prize for discovering the photo-electric effect, which Einstein plagiarizes the SAME year has "his" paper, with no reference to Lenard

    1. American82

      "1878 - James Maxwell in Scotland publishes Special Theory of Relativity in Encyclopedia Britannica which Einstein publishes as his own in 1905 without citing Maxwell"

      So, are you saying that Einstein wrote his paper by copying it from the Encyclopedia Britannica? And that no scientists who reviewed it noticed?

      Your claim is pretty far fetched.

    2. Craig

      Olinto De Pretto (1857–1921) was an Italian industrialist, physicist and geologist from Schio, Vicenza. He is credited with being the first person to derive the precise formula E=mc2 and is also the first to conclude that radioactive decay of uranium and thorium was an example of energy transformation from mass into energy.
      The infos there just gotta look

    3. American82

      My point remains the same: Are you asserting that none of the scientists in Europe were aware of all the papers Einstein supposedly plagiarized from? It would seem more possible that they recognized that Einstein had presented something that tied all those previous efforts together, with a theoretical underpinning that extended beyond them.

      The equivalence of potential and kinetic energy was long known*, which is the basis of e=mc2 (kinetic energy=1/2 mv2). Einstein provided the theoretical underpinning that demonstrated why that is so. (*prior to Einstein and de Pretto)

      The story of de Pretto and Maxwell and others all coming up with similar ideas points to a larger interesting thing though: the concept that there are ideas whose time has come. This appears to happen frequently in history.

    4. James Naish

      Did you know that Einstein was the reincarnation of Leibniz? The reincarnated Leibniz was bitter about the fact that Newton stole all of his ideas and published them in a less comprehensible form, so he took his revenge on the entire sceintific community by republishing all of their ideas in a more elegant form.

      Also, Maxwell wasn't a real person. He was just Faraday's second personality. Faraday was driven mad by the power and fame he achieved, and created Maxwell as a psychological refuge from his torment. Maxwell represented Faraday's inner-generalist, to counter his natural and highly observational approach to science.

      In a bizarre twist of fate, however, Farraday was also a reincarnation of Leibniz, and so it ironically turns out that Einstein both did, and didn't, plagiarise from Maxwell. Maxwell originally published Special Relativity, and Einstein copied it and republished it: plagiarism. However, they shared the same spirit and, since it's ludicrous to suggest that one can self-plagiarise, Einstein had published the original paper ergo was not plagiarising.

      These are just basic self-evident matters of fact, and if you can't see that, then you're clearly bending the facts to fit the theory.

    5. Michael Sagan

      Actually i'm an immortal being and haven't been reincarnated ever, i simply take the form of whoever i chose - because i am your deity. I've provided humanity with hints to the meaning of everything since before recorded history. You must now take up a simple job, one that doesn't require you to think -
      Signed, Einstenewtongod

  16. Saman

    Really this was fantastic and well produced. Keep on the good work you have done to give very informative knowledge to us. Thank you very much.

  17. esaeo

    Extremely well done. Not only was it informative, it was very well produced. Every aspect of the script, acting, scene, and of course the content, was amazing. On such a over-hashed subject as E=mc^2, this documentary was truly fresh, insightful and relevant. Good job.

  18. Tom


    "Mother**ck!!". Is there a reason why you have to judge someone you've never met so harshly? I know something about Einstein's private life as well and yes, it can hardly be described as sqeaky clean and saintly. The point is: no-one's personal history can and if you think that people who have contributed to humanity in some way are all some how immune to human infallibilities, then you'll be in for many disappointments in life. What a thing to say! The fact is that neither you, me or anyone apart from those actually involved have any right to comment on Einstein's private life.


  19. ira

    amazing documentary ! but i'd never expect Einstein being such a mother**ck !! Leaving his wife and his child right when he finally made it and they no longer had to struggle ! Soooo selfish !

    I really liked how this documentary intertwines all these stories with different contributors and their lives and characters ! Story of some exceptional people..

  20. Tom

    The big thing, as I see it, is the day Einstein went on that walk with his physicist friend in Bern, Switzerland. He is looking at the clocks at various distances away from where he was standing, he pauses a couple of moments and his face changes. No matter what comes after that, he has had that flash of inspiration. That moment when he saw something that no-one before him had seen. That is what the beauty of this whole thing is. Nothing and no-one could take that moment away from him. The authorship of the papers, the money, the fame, you could toss it all away. None of it compares with being the one to make the leap that he had :-)

    Indeed, the same could be said of Meitner.

    Nice documentary.

  21. Eff

    I quite enjoyed this excellent production! Bravo!
    I got a BIG BANG! Out of watching it...
    I now see GOD as an equation.

  22. Ala

    Amazing... informative

  23. Stefan

    An extraordinary documentary which is able to unleash the combination of several incredible insights used to produce the one equation that is able to explain to many things.

  24. Max

    Mr. K.Popper, thank you.