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Understanding Einstein's Theories of Relativity: Man?s New Perspective on the Cosmos

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Overview

"The style is very clear and concise, and the treatment is authoritative throughout." — Choice
Relativity remains a topic of crucial interest for scientists grappling with its implications for physics, astronomy, cosmology, and other disciplines. Laymen, too, are fascinated by relativity theory, which overturned the classical order of Newtonian physics and postulated ideas about space and time that often seem to contradict common sense.
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Overview

"The style is very clear and concise, and the treatment is authoritative throughout." — Choice
Relativity remains a topic of crucial interest for scientists grappling with its implications for physics, astronomy, cosmology, and other disciplines. Laymen, too, are fascinated by relativity theory, which overturned the classical order of Newtonian physics and postulated ideas about space and time that often seem to contradict common sense.
The present work is a very clear, concise, and authoritative exposition of both the special and general theories of relativity. Intended for nonscientific readers with a knowledge of high school math, the book offers illuminating coverage of such topics as the speed of light, simultaneity, time distortion of space and mass, journeys to the stars, dimension and hyperspace, the theory of general relativity, anomalies in space, and the structure and evolution of the universe.
Readers with an inquisitive bent for cosmic affairs will enjoy this mind-stretching journey into the mysteries and majesty of the physical universe, where they'll share the author's explanations and speculations about why the speed of light is the speed of time, whether it may be possible to travel backward in time, how black holes are formed, how it is possible that space is curved, and much more. For anyone curious about the nature of the universe and how relativity theory continues to help scientists unlock its secrets, this accessible popular treatment is an invaluable companion and guide.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A republication of the Tab Books edition of 1983. For nonscientific readers with a knowledge of high school math. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486266596
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 4/1/1991
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 230,687
  • Product dimensions: 6.53 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Table of Contents

 The Speed of Light Is the Speed of Time
1 The Fundamental Axiom of Relativity
   Reference Frames
   Light Speed
   Ether Theory
   Indirect Observations
   Theoretically Faster than Light
   Seeing Back in Time
   What is Light?
   Particle Theory
   Wave Theory
   Matter is Energy
2 "What Does "Simultaneous" Mean?"
   Time is Distance
   Time Stations
   Clocks in Space
   Very Far Ago
   The Effect of Motion
   Motion of a Viewer
   Moving light Sources
   Red and Blue Shift
   Expanding Space
3 Time Distortion
   Cosmic Time
   Time Distortion as a Result of Motion
   A Light-Beam Clock: Special Relativity
   Point of View
   Calculating the Time-Distortion Factor
   The General Case
   The Twin Paradox
   The Rotation Paradox
   Standards of Motion
   The General Theory
   Addition of Velocities
4 Distortion of Space and Mass
   Time Dimensions
   Velocity-Corrected Space-Time
   Moving Rods
   Moving Disks
   Three Spatial Dimensions
   Mesons
   Inertial Mass
   In Motion
   Conservation of Momentum
   A Contradiction
5 Journeys to the Stars
   Mass Versus Velocity
   Space Ship Design for High Speed
   A Trip to Alpha Centauri
   Time Travel
   Backward Time Travel
   Difficulties with Interstellar Travel
   Telecommunications
   Star Hopping
   Have We Been Visited?
   Close Encounters
   Project Ozma
6 Dimensions and Hyperspace "Hyperspace" Communication
   What is a Dimension?
   The Cartesian System
   Polar Coordinates
   Two Space
   The Distance Formula for Plane Geometry
   Euclidean or Non-Euclidean?
   Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Three-Space
   The Hypersphere
   The Four Cube
   Time as the Fourth Dimension
   Escaping from a Cell
   Intersecting Spaces
   How We See Lesser Spaces
   More than Four Dimension
   Interior Angles of a Triangle
   Refraction
   Geodetic Lines
   "Coordinates in "Spherical Universes"
   "Coordinates in "Non-Spherical" Universes"
7 The Theory of General Relativity
   Distance Through Progressively More Dimensions
   Centrifugal Force
   Alone in the Universe
   A Universe of Two
   Acceleration and Gravitation
   Inside the Ball
   Distortion of Time and Space Caused by Acceleration
   Resolving the Twin Paradox
   The Rotational Acceleration Field
   Rotating Coordinates
   All Points of View Are Equally Valid
   One-to-One Correspondences
   Acceleration Distorts Space
   Deflection of a Photon with Circular Motion
   The Principal of Equivalence
   Light from the Stars
   The Perihelion of Mercury
   Red Shift Caused by Gravitation
   Gravity Waves
   The Unified Field Theory
8 Anomalies in Space
   Is Space Really Curved?
   The Death of a Star
   Gravitational Collapse
   An Outside View
   Gravitational Radius Versus Mass
   How Common Are Black Holes?
   Gravitational Shock Waves
   Strange Binary Stars
   Quasi-Stellar Radio Sources
   Collapsars and Space Travel
   Collapsars and Time Travel
   Black-Hole Universes
9 The Structure and Evolution of the Universe
   Is Our Universe a Black Hole?
   The Universe of Ptolemy
   "Coperrnicus, Tycho and Kepler"
   Galileo and Newton
   Orbital Geometry
   According to Newton
   Newton's Absolute Space and Time
   The Advent of Modern Cosmology
   Distance Measurements in the Cosmos
   "Slipherm de Sitter, and Hubble"
   The Steady-State Theory
   The Beginning of Time
   The End of Time
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2003

    A Mathematician's View

    I have owned this book since 1984, when I purchased the original edition from TAB Books. I found the approach unique, apparently written from a mathematician's point of view. But I was led to wonder about the accuracy of some of the material in the book, particularly of thought experiments that cannot be done in real life and which therefore cannot be positively verified or denied experimentally. For example, who is going to put clocks all over the solar system and then go to every planet to check their readings? But then, other books do the same thing, for example, asking the reader to imagine riding on a train travelling at eighty percent of the speed of light. After looking at various mentions of this title around the Web (as a phrase in Google advanced search), I have found mostly positive comments, including one from a mathematician (!) in Alabama and another from an educational association in Arizona. These experts have recommended this book as good reading for their students. One fellow dismissed the book because he turned to a page and found some mention of UFOs, but confessed that he hadn't actually read the book yet. Gibilisco's approach differs rather dramatically from most other relativity books because it is neither highfalutin nor silly. The style is, for the most part, clear. I think the explanations of simultaneity are a little hard to understand and could be misleading to some readers. Gibilisco could do a better job of explaining the relativity of simultaneity among objects in relative motion. It would be nice to have more discussion about paradoxes associated with Special Relativity. An updated edition could clarify some of these issues and also address the question, 'Can anything travel faster than the speed of light in free space?'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2002

    I never read this book

    I dont know how i got to this page, in fact i dont even know what I am reviewing. But let me tell you this: I never read this book, not one freakin page, but this book is the most inspirational and informative book ever and if you dont read this, your life is not worth living. Seriously, it is your duty to get this book, it will bring you good fortune, fertility, enlightenment and increased sexual pleasure.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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