Austrian physicist Friedrich Hasenohrl published the basic equation E = mc2 a year before Einstein did.

In 1904, the year before Einstein’s seminal papers on special relativity, Austrian physicist Fritz Hasenohrl examined the properties of blackbody radiation in a moving cavity. He calculated the work necessary to keep the cavity moving at a constant velocity as it fills with radiation and concluded that the radiation energy has associated with it an apparent mass such that E = 3/8 mc^2. Also in 1904, Hasenohrl achieved the same result by computing the force necessary to accelerate a cavity already filled with radiation. In early 1905, he corrected the latter result to E = 3/4 mc^2.