Not every groundbreaking idea is complicated to understand. Ryan Chester, a high school senior from Ohio, seems to think so too. Using simple props and graphics, Chester produced a fantastic short video explaining one of the most important theories in physics – the Theory of Special Relativity proposed by Albert Einstein one hundred years ago. If the name doesn’t say too much, maybe  E = mc2 will. The equivalence of mass and energy is a direct consequence of the two special relativity postulates:

  • The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames of reference.
  • The speed of light in free space has the same value c in all inertial frames of reference.

For his work, Chester was awarded first prize in the Breakthrough Junior Challenge which encouraged youngster aged 13 to 18 to make a short video explaining or communicating a big idea in science. Chester was awarded a $250,000 scholarship, which significantly broadens his college options. “Before, I was worried about graduating with debt, and I don’t have to worry about that now,” he said. For sure, for sure. Additionally, $50,000 were awarded to his physics teacher and $100,000 will go to fund his school’s science lab.

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