Relativity: The Special and the General Theory / Edition 60

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Overview

Robert Geroch builds on Einstein's work with commentary that addresses the ideas at the heart of the theory, bringing a modern understanding of relativity to the text. He elucidates how special relativity is a reconciliation of the contradictions between the nature of light and the principle of relativity; he expands on Einstein's treatment of the geometry of space-time and the fundamental notion of an "event"; he explains in detail, but without technical language, the equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass, a cornerstone of general relativity.

This book, a collection of Einstein's own popular writings on his work, describes the meaning of his main theories in a way virtually everyone can understand.

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Editorial Reviews

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

  • ISBN-13: 9780143039822
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/25/2006
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 60
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 771,307
  • Product dimensions: 5.17 (w) x 7.79 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Albert Einstein (1879–1955), one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century, was born in Ulm, Germany, to German-Jewish parents. He published his first great theories in Switzerland in the early 1900s while working as a patent clerk.

Nigel Calder, educated as a physicist at Cambridge University, began his full-time writing career on the original staff of New Scientist magazine. His most recent book is the bestselling Einstein's Universe.

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Table of Contents


Relativity
Introduction by Nigel Calder
Suggestions for Further Reading
Preface by Albert Einstein

Part I: The Special Theory of Relativity

1. Physical Meaning of Geometrical Propositions
2. The System of Co-ordinates
3. Space and Time in Classical Mechanics
4. The Galileian System of Co-ordinates
5. The Principle of Relativity (in the Restricted Sense)
6. The Theorem of the Addition of Velocities Employed in Classical Mechanics
7. The Apparent Incompatibility of the Law of Propagation of Light with the Principle of Relativity
8. On the Idea of Time in Physics
9. The Relativity of Simultaneity
10. On the Relativity of the Conception of Distance
11. The Lorentz Transformation
12. The Behaviour of Measuring-Rods and Clocks in Motion
13. Theorem of the Addition of the Velocities. The Experiment of Fizeau
14. The Heuristic Value of the Theory of Relativity
15. General Results of the Theory
16. Experience and the Special Theory of Relativity
17. Minkowski's Four-Dimensional Space

Part II: The General Theory of Relativity

18. Special and General Principle of Relativity
19. The Gravitational Field
20. The Equality of Inertial and Gravitational Mass as an Argument for the General Postulate of Relativity
21. In What Respects Are the Foundations of Classical Mechanics and of the Special Theory of Relativity Unsatisfactory?
22. A Few Inferences from the Genral Principle of Relativity
23. Behaviour of Clocks and Measuring-Rods on a Rotating Body of Reference
24. Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Continuum
25. Gaussian Co-ordinates
26. The Space-Time Continuum of the Special Theory of Relativity Considered as a Euclidean Continuum
27. The Space-Time Continuum of the General Theory of Relativity Is Not a Euclidean Continuum
28. Exact Formulation of the General Principle of Relativity
29. The Solution of the Problem of Gravitation on the Basis of the General Principle of Relativity

Part III: Considerations on the Universe as a Whole

30. Cosmological Difficulties of Newton's Theory
31. The Possibility of a "Finite" and Yet "Unbounded" Universe
32. The Structure of Space According to the General Theory of Relativity

Appendices

1. Simple Derivation of the Lorentz Transformation
2. Minkowski's Four-Dimensional Space ("World")
3. The Experimental Confirmation of the General Theory of Relativity
(a) Motion of the Perihelion of Mercury
(b) Deflection of Light by a Gravitational Field
(c) Displacement of Spectral Lines towards the Red

Index

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Introduction

Preface

The present book is intended, as far as possible, to give an exact insight into the theory of Relativity to those readers who, from a general scientific and philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics. The work presumes a standard of education corresponding to that of a university matriculation examination, and, despite the shortness of the book, a fair amount of patience and force of will on the part of the reader. The author has spared himself no pains in his endeavour to present the main ideas in the simplest and most intelligible form, and on the whole, in the sequence and connection in which they actually originated. In the interest of clearness, it appeared to me inevitable that I should repeat myself frequently, without paying the slightest attention to the elegance of the presentation. I adhered scrupulously to the precept of that brilliant theoretical physicist, L. Boltzmann, according to whom matters of elegance ought to be left to the tailor and to the cobbler. I make no pretence of having with-held from the reader difficulties which are inherent to the subject. On the other hand, I have purposely treated the empirical physical foundations of the theory in a "step-motherly" fashion, so that readers unfamiliar with physics may not feel like the wanderer who was unable to see the forest for trees. May the book bring some one a few happy hours of suggestive thought!

A. EINSTEIN

December, 1916


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 76 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 77 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2003

    This book made Relativity intuitive.

    Six years of college physics courses never made relativity intuitively understandable for me. Academic texts concentrate on mathematical descriptions, manipulations and proofs to present theories. Einstein, in simple text, leads us through his very logical and understandable thought process, which led him to the relativity theories. I could manipulate the mathematics of relativity and come up with answers but never really had an intuitive feel for what really is going on till I read this book. I only wish I had read this first before plowing through graduate physics courses. The only other book I have ever read that was more enlightening was the Bible.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

    Bad conversion to e-book.

    Would have probably been a good read, but the equations are all missing.

    Everywhere you expect to see an equation, is a tag that says:

    eq. 'n': file eq'n'.gif

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 5, 2012

    fatally flawed version - equations missing.

    While this is obviously an excellent book that everyone should have to read at some point in their life, this version suffers---as others have warned---from a glitch that fails to print the majority of the equations. DO NOT BUY THIS VERSION, find a complete version somewhere else.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    equations missing

    equations missing on android. Don't spend a penny on this version; get it free (with equations) as an android play store book.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    Difficult to enjoy

    Text conversion fail. Spend enough time translating to lose the author... not good for this kind of book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 24, 2012

    Equations do not render (references a .gif file) on PC app or on

    Equations do not render (references a .gif file) on PC app or on the Nook Glowlight

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2003

    do not be content with just this book

    I hate bashing titles-- especially someone with as great an intellect as A. Einstein, but I would rather those wanting to learn about relativity not take the short road nor try to learn it half way. This book is no way an introduction of any sort. It's that snack that ruins the dinner. Herman Weyl's Space-Time-Matter is a difficult book to follow, but there is enough philosophy there to hold your attention. Many times we focus on Einstein as a person when we should be more interested in the theory-- especially the general theory.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Couldnt

    Understand anything.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A Handbook for Relativity

    Absolutely essential for the millenium.The door,the lock,and the key for theoretical physics.It opens a window,for the layman,about his options in the real world.'May it provide someone with a few hours of suggestive thought'..mfd

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    This is a very good book. Just got it yesterday and I'm already

    This is a very good book. Just got it yesterday and I'm already about halfway done. I dearly recommend this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2012

    Hard to read

    Text conversion failed horribly , unable to get over mispelled words

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2012

    ?

    I love him

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 28, 2010

    How could you not give this 5 stars?!

    Seriously. Read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 28, 2010

    Fascinating, as new today as it was when written

    An excellent start for those who are interested in relativity. Would be an excellent book for science teachers in high school to discuss with their students.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing and easy-to-read!

    I found this fascinating. This is not written for those with a PhD. It is technical, but understandable and compelling. The reason I include it on this list is twofold:

    * It is a great example of perspective and reevaluating what you think to be true
    * It is also a great example of taking a complicated or very different idea and logically walking the reader through the reasoning to an inevitable conclusion.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting to read Albert Einsteins own (translated) words.

    This book avoids the mathematics required for a complete grasp of the subject. Without the more advanced mathematics necessary for a complete understanding of this subject, I must be satisfied with trying to understand the basics of the theory. A few current books advance a few steps forward in explaining relativity subjects. Nevertheless it is very interesting to read Einsteins own explanation of relativity.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2009

    Surprisingly well-written.

    Though this treatise deals with a difficult subject, Einstein gains obvious benefit from his background as a teacher. A bit redundant, and at times overly reliant on quantification and graphical representation of research findings, I would still recommend. A good primer for early astrophysics research.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2004

    Superb

    This book makes you wonder. This man was such a genius. How could one comprehedn such amazing things? Well this book is sure a good way to start.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2003

    Timeless

    I first read this tome in the Perth Amboy library in 1966 while I was studying physics and calculus in honors high school. I still remember the "eureka!" effect of understanding both the verbal and mathmatical exposition of Einsein's work. It was a special treat to hear it in the words of this persistent genius. It still gives relevance to theory and math concepts for me which is why at 53 I've come looking for it again. The biggest tiny book I've ever read and understood.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2000

    GREAT!

    Albert Einstein was a very smart person and his books are great!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 77 Customer Reviews

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