Relativity: The Special and the General Theory Paperback – Dec 3 2010
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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.
'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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Top Customer Reviews
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 When first published, relativity superseded a 200-year-old theory of mechanics elucidated by Isaac Newton.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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Scared of reading Relativity because of the mathematics? Well, don't be! This was well written and can be read by anyone who is interested enough!Published 2 months ago by Carlo C.
Received the book sooner than expected and it's a great read. I didn't need any physics knowledge to understand it either. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Tyler
all the equations are missing on my android reader so the book is hard to followPublished 9 months ago by Dany Joannette
einsteins presents his theory very well. Easy to understand with many "ah-has!" in it. Not a very big book. Worth the read.Published on March 12 2013 by Todd Fedorak
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... Read morePublished on April 10 2012 by G. McConnell