Waves, particles and Einstein ! 1

Waves are something that have no mass and move at the maximum speed, mass m = 0. speed c = 1. So whats their momentum? p = m.v = 0? Right?

No. For pure waves; momentum does not come from mass. It comes only from motion.

(pure wave; they do not have mass)

For matter waves, on the other hand, momentum comes in two ways, mass as well as motion.

(impure, now they have mass)

Albert Einstein recognized this fact and derived his relation; $latex E = \sqrt {(pc)^2+(mc^2)^2}$

This relation is called as Einstein’s relativistic equation, also Einstein’s mass-energy relation. But more appropriately mass-energy-momentum relation.

Let us consider E as the hypotenuse, p and m; as base or perpendicular as is your choice.

triangle_copyThen $latex E = \sqrt {(pc)^2+(mc^2)^2}$ is Pythagoras Theorem; when p is momentum and m is mass.

For pure waves such as photon … the quanta of light, m = 0.

Hence the Pythagorean Triangle is now one, where the mass side is arbitrary small. Thus E = p. More…