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Relativity: The Special and General Theory Hardcover – Apr 10 2009

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Hardcover, Apr 10 2009
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: BiblioLife; Reprint edition (April 10 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1103842579
  • ISBN-13: 978-1103842575
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
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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.


'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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4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 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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3 of 3 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 Roberto Macías on Nov. 29 2003
Format: Paperback
I won't lie to you, the theory of relativity is not simple. The special relativty is easily understood, yet it is a topic covered in university as an speciality in majors more involved with physics, and general relativity is coverd in masters. Both topics can be quite esoteric, and the mathematical explanation for the relativistic deformation of the time-space due to speed uses Fourier's transforms, so most people will have to just have faith in what Einstein is trying to explain. However, he does simplify the subject enough, so anyone with a basis of physics could grasp some of the most important ideas behind his theory.
Furthermore, this book is important in the fact that by proving that relativity was a real fact in physics, the shape of the world in the twentieth century took a great change. I believe that without Einstein's work, the nihilism porfethized by Nietzsche, toghether with the despotic regimes that the will of power would create guided by deviations of the "übermensch" might not have com in such strenght as it did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wesley L. Janssen on Nov. 27 2002
Format: Paperback
Measuring-rods and clocks in a continuum of non-rigid reference-bodies. This is how Einstein explains his theories of relativity to those "who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics." No offense to Einstein, but others have published more readily comprehensible descriptions of relativity. Einstein's accounts are rather belabored compared to those of physicists like Brian Greene. However, if you have a basic appreciation of geometry, you will soon attain a foggy glimpse of Einstein's two great theories in this small volume. Read this book as a curiosity, to encounter Newton's intellectual heir, and his vision of the universe, in his own words.
As the author promises, the book is well organized, moving through Relativity's essential aspects in a systematic progression and examining the difficulties he had to overcome in its development. In his preface Einstein says, "despite the shortness of the book, a fair amount of patience and force of will on the part of the reader" will be demanded. If you are curious, strap on your thinking-cap and enjoy this read in Einstein's finite but perhaps unbounded universe.
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