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Relativity: The Special and the General Theory Paperback – Dec 3 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Lightning Source Inc; Tra edition (Dec 3 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891396307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891396304
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #54,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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 an alternate 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 an alternate Paperback edition.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 When first published, relativity superseded a 200-year-old theory of mechanics elucidated by Isaac Newton.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 space-time. Time now depended on velocity, and contraction became a fundamental consequence at appropriate speeds.
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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Einstein's explanations of certain concepts are difficult to grasp without prior knowledge. However, you can still learn much from this book. I would highly recommend this book to any physics/chemistry majors.
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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.
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