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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
If you don't already know the theory, don't bother...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (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...
3.0 out of 5 stars
Great advance in the field of Science,
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This review is from: Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (Paperback)
I will begin with saying that this book deserves its spot on the list of top 25 science books of all time. The ground that Albert Einstein gained in relativity is well demonstrated in this book. Einstein does a reasonably good job of communicating the postulates and impacts of special and general relativity. However, this is not a textbook and it is extremely difficult to follow as a 21st century reader.
The language is of the early 20th century and to those practiced in reading such language this novel shall not prove challenging. However, the only reason that I myself was able to follow along was because I had already studied relativity first. The novel furthered my knowledge of the field of relativity and of Albert Einstein. I would recommend this novel to those who are already familiar with this field, I would not recommend this as an introductory to relativity.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Relativity: The Special and the General Theory,
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This review is from: Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (Paperback)
Relativity: The Special and the General Theory by Albert Einstein
2010 Reprint of 1920 First English Edition. First English translation of Einstein's theory of relativity. In this work Einstein intended, as far as possible, to give an exact insight into the theory of Relativity to those readers who, from a general and scientific philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics. The theory of relativity enriched physics and astronomy during the 20th century. When first published, relativity superseded a 200yearold theory of mechanics elucidated by Isaac Newton. It changed perceptions. For example, it overturned the concept of motion from Newton's day, into all motion is relative. Time was no longer uniform and absolute, as related to everyday experience. Furthermore, no longer could physics be understood as space by itself, and time by itself. Instead, an added dimension had to be taken into account with curved spacetime. Time now depended on velocity, and contraction became a fundamental consequence at appropriate speeds.
5.0 out of 5 stars
very well presented,
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This review is from: Relativity (Hardcover)
einsteins presents his theory very well. Easy to understand with many "ahhas!" in it. Not a very big book. Worth the read.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Compact read.,
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This review is from: Relativity: The Special and General Theory (Paperback)
This book quickly gets to the issue of why there even needs to be a theory of special relativity. It clearly explains what postulates are unwavering and why and then proceeds to show how the other generally accepted physics concepts, which appear at first to be at odds with each other, can in fact coexist. Remarkable. Readable by anyone with even a bit of physics knowledge.
5.0 out of 5 stars
mastermind at work,
By A Customer
This review is from: Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (Paperback)
The reviewer of April 13 from Moscow, Idaho says this is not the book to read unless you already understand the theory. Maybe fair enough. It was written when Einstein had achieved youthful fame, though, not in his dotage, if he had such a thing. It may be a little more difficult for the translation, but not much. Contrary to some reviewers, it is not that easy to follow, and if it seems like an easy read, you probably haven't understood it. There are many books written since where it is probably easier to learn about special relativity, to say nothing of the basic ideas of general relativity. But once you have started to get the hang of things, this book is a masterpiece of exposition! It allows one to follow Einstein's actual thought process in arriving at these theories  pretty much by a process of pure thought  more or less in the steps he probably took himself. There is not a word in the exposition that was not carefully thought out. So, learn the theory somewhere else and then read this book  you'll understand the theory better for reading Einstein's book  or read this book first, keep going back to it 'til it starts to make sense, and maybe consult some other, more "userfriendly" textbook at the same time. Einstein claims his book allows a lay reader with only high school math to understand relativity. To which a friend of mine replied "Yeah, if you have an IQ of 800". To which I say, have patience, keep thinking about it and going back to it.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Classic book; horrible print.,
This review is from: Relativity: The Special and General Theory (Hardcover)
My 1 star is for this particular printing of the book, and has nothing to do with Einstein's book, which is fantastic.
The copy I received has the following "features":  Unnumbered sections (both in the Table of Contents, and in the heading for each section).  Formulae which (for no good reason) appear in superscript (e.g. notes on page 51).  The use of the number 1 instead of ' (as in prime, e.g. K1 instead of K', page 24). At least they put the 1 in superscript (though that makes it seem like a footnote).  Double words (e.g. "the the" on page 34).  Overinked, smeared text (e.g. page 32).  Nonitalicized variables.  Footnotes demarcated by an asterisk (*) instead of superscript numbers (countless examples).  Nonmatching double quotes (they all face one way, usually).  Tacky cover.  Inexplicable, unnecessary spaces. This list isn't exhaustive; there is probably plenty more wrong with it. Shameful. I've since downloaded a free PDF of the book from [...]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Do you want to learn about Modern Physics? Begin here!,
This review is from: Relativity (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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Scientific Gem From the World's Greatest Genius,
By A Customer
This review is from: Relativity (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 nonscientists 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.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
A concise book that captures the essence.,
By GPK (The Netherlands)  See all my reviews
This review is from: Relativity: The Special and General Theory (Paperback)
I own this book and have read it a few times and each time I am impressed by the clarity with which it is written. It explains the concepts of relativity in words. It avoids (technical) calculations and formulas, not for the usual 'commercial' reasons, but because the author shows he can do without. And ask yourself: how many authors are capable of doing that?
The strength of the book is its compactness: the author forces you to think things through, before moving on to the next chapter. I think this little book is great to own next to a more advanced textbook because it really adds value, for a small price. Buy this book for its content only: it contains no fancy graphics or other 'eye catchers'. 
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Relativity: The Special and the General Theory by Albert Einstein (Paperback  Dec 1 2010)
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