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ERIC Number: EJ859351
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Einstein Never Approved of Relativistic Mass
Hecht, Eugene
Physics Teacher, v47 n6 p336-341 Sep 2009
During much of the 20th century it was widely believed that one of the significant insights of special relativity was "relativistic mass." Today there are two schools on that issue: the traditional view that embraces speed-dependent "relativistic mass," and the more modern position that rejects it, maintaining that there is only one mass and it's speed-independent. This paper explores the history of "relativistic mass," emphasizing Einstein's public role and private thoughts. We show how the concept of speed-dependent mass mistakenly evolved out of a tangle of ideas despite Einstein's prescient reluctance. Along the way there will be previously unrevealed surprises (e.g., Einstein never derived the expression for "relativistic mass," and privately disapproved of it).
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail: pubs@aapt.org; Web site: http://scitation.aip.org/tpt
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A