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E = mc2 Scavenger Hunt Activity Sheet


Einstein's Big Idea homepage

This Scavenger Hunt is made up of questions related to Einstein and E = mc2. To answer the questions, you need to find an appropriate library resource. Remember to look for the posted clues so you can answer the final question. Good luck!

  1. E = mc2 is a famous equation written by Albert Einstein in 1905. It says that energy and mass are different forms of the same thing. You can convert energy into mass, and vice-versa, using the conversion factor of c2 (the speed of light, squared). The c comes from a word that is also the source of the English word celerity.

    What does celerity mean?



    Celerity comes from what Latin word?



    In what library resource did you find this information?



  2. Before Einstein came up with E = mc2, he thought a lot about different kinds of energy, including how magnets work and how light acts. Other scientists also studied the energy of magnets and light with experiments.

    Find a book of hands-on science experiments.

    Author:



    Title:



    Call number:



    In what area did you find it?



  3. In many ways, scientists are like detectives, piecing together clues to discover and explain how the natural world works. Einstein is just one scientist who led a very interesting life.

    Find a biography of a scientist other than Einstein.

    Author:



    Title:



    Call number:



    In what area did you find it?



  4. Working after Einstein proposed his famous equation, Lise Meitner was the first to show that a uranium atom can be split, converting a tiny amount of mass into an enormous amount of energy according to the formula E = mc2. Meitner was living in the capital of Sweden when she came to this discovery.

    What is the name of this city?



    In what library resource did you find this information?



  5. An important part of scientists' work is communicating their results so that other scientists can learn from the research or ask new questions about it. One place where scientists share their ideas and results is in science journals (specialized magazines).

    Find a journal or magazine about science.

    What is the name of the journal or magazine?



    How often is it published?



    Where in the library did you find it?



  6. The idea behind E = mc2 led other scientists and engineers to develop many new technologies. One of the most notorious is the atomic bomb. In 1945, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The war ended, but the loss of life and destruction were devastating.

    Find a nonfiction book about the atomic bombs in World War II.

    Author:



    Title:



    Call number:



    Where in the library did you find it?



  7. Other applications of E = mc2 are more peaceful. One example can be found in a library or other public spaces. If the power goes out, this object will still glow red, helping you find something important in an emergency. As tiny bits of radioactive matter inside this object are converted into energy, they give off the red glow.

    What is this object?



    Find one and describe its location:



Final Question
Einstein's equation says that energy and mass are different forms of the same thing.

If you could turn this everyday object into pure energy, it would yield 18 kilotons of TNT. That's roughly the size of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. What is this object?

Collect letters from the four index card clues. Then unscramble the letters to find the answer.

Clue letters: __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Answer:




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