If you’ve ever heard of Albert Einstein, chances are you know at least one equation that he himself is famous for deriving: E = mc². This simple equation details a relationship between the energy (E) of a system, its rest mass (m), and a fundamental constant that relates the two, the speed of light squared (c²). Despite the fact that this equation is one of the simplest ones you can write down, what it means is dramatic and profound.
At a fundamental level, there is an equivalence between the mass of an object and the inherent energy stored within it. Mass is only one form of energy among many, such as electrical, thermal, or chemical energy, and therefore energy can be transformed from any of these forms into mass, and vice versa. The profound implications of Einstein’s equations touch us in many ways in our day-to-day lives. Here are the five lessons everyone should learn.