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In classical electromagnetic theory, light turns out to have energy (E) and momentum (p), and these happen to be related by E = pc. Quantum mechanics introduces the idea that light can be viewed as a collection of "particles": photons. Even though these photons cannot be brought to rest, and so the idea of rest mass doesn't really apply to them, we can certainly bring these "particles" of light into the fold of equation by just considering them to have no rest mass.
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