Relativity: The Special and the General Theory [NOOK Book]

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 ...
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Relativity: The Special and the General Theory

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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: 9781101117705
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/29/2006
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 866,177
  • File size: 390 KB

Meet the Author

Roger Penrose is a world-renowned physicist at Oxford University. He is the author of The Road to Reality.



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.


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Table of Contents

Introduction
Relativity : the special and general theory 1
1 Physical meaning of geometrical propositions 5
2 The system of co-ordinates 9
3 Space and time in classical mechanics 13
4 The Galileian system of co-ordinates 16
5 The principle of relativity (in the restricted sense) 18
6 The theorem of the addition of velocities employed in classical mechanics 23
7 The apparent incompatibility of the law of propagation of light with the principle of relativity 25
8 On the idea of time in physics 29
9 The relativity of simultaneity 34
10 On the relativity of the conception of distance 38
11 The Lorentz transformation 40
12 The behaviour of measuring-rods and clocks in motion 47
13 Theorem of the addition of velocities : the experiment of Fizeau 51
14 The heuristic value of the theory of relativity 56
15 General results of the theory 58
16 Experience and the special theory of relativity 65
17 Minkowski's four-dimensional space 72
18 Special and general principle of relativity 77
19 The gravitational field 82
20 The equality of inertial and gravitational mass as an argument for the general postulate of relativity 86
21 In what respects are the foundations of classical mechanics and of the special theory of relativity unsatisfactory? 92
22 A few inferences from the general principle of relativity 95
23 Behaviour of clocks and measuring-rods on a rotating body of reference 101
24 Euclidean and non-Euclidean continuum 106
25 Gaussian co-ordinates 111
26 The space-time continuum of the special theory of relativity considered as a Euclidean continuum 116
27 The space-time continuum of the general theory of relativity is not a Euclidean continuum 119
28 Exact formulation of the general principle of relativity 123
29 The solution of the problem of gravitation on the basis of the general principle of relativity 127
30 Cosmological difficulties of Newton's theory 133
31 The possibility of a "finite" and yet "unbounded" universe 136
32 The structure of space according to the general theory of relativity 143
App. 1 Simple derivation of the Lorentz transformation 147
App. 2 Minkowski's four-dimensional space ("world") 155
App. 3 The experimental confirmation of the general theory of relativity 158
Commentary 171
The cultural legacy of relativity theory 225
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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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