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Relativity Hardcover – Oct 5 1988


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Gramercy; New edition edition (Oct. 5 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517029618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517029619
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 268 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #401,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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How better to learn the Special Theory of Relativity and the General Theory of Relativity than directly from their creator, Albert Einstein himself? In Relativity: The Special and the General Theory, Einstein describes the theories that made him famous, illuminating his case with numerous examples and a smattering of math (nothing more complex than high-school algebra). Einstein's book is not casual reading, but for those who appreciate his work without diving into the arcana of theoretical physics, Relativity will prove a stimulating read. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

'He was unfathomably profound - the genius among geniuses who discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed.' - Time

'Much of the book is a delight.' - Stephen Battersby, New Scientist

'[Einstein] is a far better populariser of science than Stephen Hawking ... you'll feel as though you have a ringside seat at a revolution in human understanding.' - Guardian --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13 1999
Format: Paperback
I hate to be the only one to not give the book "5 stars", but this is simply not the best book to buy if you want to learn the theory of relativity. The book is certainly worthwhile if you want something simply because it was written by Einstein, but God bless him, the old guy just couldn't put the idea accross as well as many modern authors. Maybe something is just lost in the translation, I don't know...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Borden on May 1 2003
Format: Paperback
In Relativity, Einstein trys to bring his theory of relativity to the masses. When the special and general theorys of relativity were concieved of by Einstein, they revolutionized our perception of space and time. This revolution was so complete that many of the most significant physicists of the time believed that it was nonsense. When Einstein won the Nobel prize for his work on the photoelectric effect, his certificate unequivocally stated that the award was NOT given for his theory of relativity. For much of his life, even Einstein was unwilling to accept some of the predictions of his own work such as black holes.
This is all very good, interesting science and history which should be read and understood by everyone. The problem is, though, that Einstein was not a particularly good writer. Einstein is too brilliant for his own good and it shows through frequently in this attempt to stoop to our level. His explanations are usually hard to follow and unintuitive(and I study physics even!). This book exists on an uncomfortable middle ground between rigor and easy reading.
If you would like to read this book simply because of its (and its author's) historical significance then I couldn't discourage that. If you know little physics and want to try to understand relativity, read Kip Thorne's Black Holes and Time Warps or the first few chapters of Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reinaldo Olivares on March 9 2000
Format: Hardcover
There is no doubt that Albert Einstein has been one of the most brilliant minds of the past century. His major contribution to science was the special and the general theory of relativity, which gave a new dimension to that we call today "Modern Physics". Many people feel frustrated because when they try to understand relativity, they find some authors that expound in their books a complex arrangement of equations referring to the mathematical part of the theory, namely, the books are accessible for people with certain levels of knowledge (that is the case of engineers, physicists, mathematicians, among others). Nevertheless, perceiving and anticipating this situation, Albert Einstein wrote this book (more than fifty years ago) whit the purpose of exposing the special and the general theory of relativity in such a way that anyone can understand it. I this sense, I think, Einstein succeeded because despite the shortness of the book, the same covers the most important aspects of relativity in a clear and concise form. Moreover, the book has appendixes where the author makes reference to some interesting subjects like the problem of space and relativity, the experimental confirmation of the theory, to name a few. If you have decided to learn something about relativity, and you do not have vast knowledge in physics and mathematics, I sincerely recommend you this book. On the other hand, if you were a reader looking for more technical information (mathematical foundation of general relativity), I would choose the book "Gravitation" written by Misner, Wheeler y Thorne. This text represents an encyclopedia about general relativity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 2 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is truly a scientific gem. Not only did the brilliant Einstein envision the theory of relativity, but he also felt compelled to inform non-scientists by writing this "less" technical explanation of his theory. The book's section on Special Relativity is not too difficult to grasp. However, having some basic understanding of algebra and classical mechanics is helpful. On the other hand, the section on General Relativity is quite profound, requiring the reader to imagine new concepts of space and time that are alien to one's sense of reality. Indeed, I had to read this section several times and I'm still not sure if I completely understand it. However, this is more of a function of my imagination skills rather than Einstein's literary abilities. For he uses an abundance of familiar terms and analogies to simplify the understanding of some of the more "unusual" implications of General Relativity. I would not recommend this book to someone averse to technical subjects. However, I do recommend it to those wishing to learn the basics of relativity theory.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is not an easy read. It is not his best attempt at explaining his theories of special and general relativity. I do however recommend any book he has written purely for the thrill of reading something by his own hand. Without going into details about the book, suffice it to say, his examples are not the most fluid or helpful in explaining the counter intuitive to mediocrities like myself. Moreover, the equations are not for the faint of heart.
But I do have a much better book to recommend, also written by Einstein(and Infeld). The book is called An Evolution Of Physics. It covers the rise and fall of mechanics, explains beautifully theories of special and general relativity, as well as his theory on quanta. I have taken a university course on relativity for non-specialists, am a collector of popular science books, and have twenty or more books explaining Einstein's theories. The Evolution of Physics is sheer poetry!!! Unlike its predecessor published in 1916, this book was published in 1938. In my humble opinion, he got it right the second time 'round.
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