Energy, Momentum, and Mass

Students examine data to find how energy, momentum, and mass are related.

Students have all heard of E = mc2, and many can even say something about what it means. However, few are familiar with the more general form which includes momentum for objects not at rest in a given reference frame. In this activity, we can justify the more complete relationship, E= p2c+ m2c4, and show that when p = 0, the equation reverts to that equation that the whole world knows.
 

Materials
Attributes
Class Time: 
30 min
Data Strand: 
Cosmic Ray
LHC
Neutrino
Level: 
Level 0

Pathway

Conservation Laws Quantum Mechanics Special Relativity
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Practices: 
2
4
5
7
Topic: 
Data Analysis
Momentum Conservation
Motion of Charged Particles
Other