I just read the May 2000 column about Einstein’s equation E=mc^2. The answer was informative but, to my disappointment, didn’t address the question. :mad: The easy answer is this (using the metric system):

**E** is in joules (it takes about 10 joules to raise a 1 Kg object 1 meter off the floor, and 100 Joules to power a 100 Watt light bulb for 1 second)

**m** is in Kg (about 2.2 lbs on earth)

**c** is in meters per second (speed of light = 3x10^8 m/s)

Therefore, 1 joule = 1 Kg.m^2/s^2

So to get an idea of how much energy is contained in 1 Kg of matter:

E=(1 Kg)(3x10^8 m/s)^2 = 9 x10^16 Joules (that’s 9 followed by 16 zeros)

That’s enough energy to keep a 100 Watt light bulb lit for over 28,000 years.

Reference:

http://www.btinternet.com/~j.doyle/SR/Emc2/Equation.htm

(sorry about the 12 year delay in responding. It had something to do with the curvature of time and space)