Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Sky-watch

John Wheeler

A journey into gravity and spacetime

Einstein's General theory of Relativity is usually thought to be a difficult topic, not approachable by the non-mathematician. However, in 'A journey into gravity and spacetime' Wheeler gives an entirely non-technical account, using the geometrical ideas which are at the root of the subject. With plenty of pictures, and a fair amount of poetry, he uses ideas such as 'The Boomerang Project' - a shaft straight through the Earth, and 'The Boundary of a Boundary', to give an intuitive feel for General Relativity. The final chapter gives an account of Gravitational Waves and discusses the significance of the experiments designed to find them.

I have to say I do have some reservations about the book. To me it didn't seem to have enough of a central thread which would lead the reader on to further study. It's fine if you want to get an overview of GR and aren't intending to go any further with the subject. However, there are no suggestions for further reading, and readers attempting to move on to more mathematical accounts might find that Wheeler's introduction doesn't really help them. For instance he spends much time discussing the curvature of the paraboloid space of the Schwarzchild solution, but in discussing the orbit of an object - a geodesic in spacetime - he abandons the ideas of curvature and uses energetic considerations instead. I feel that an opportunity has been missed here.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 258 pages  
ISBN: 0716760347
Salesrank: 1341542
Weight:1.35 lbs
Published: 1999 W. H. Freeman
Marketplace:New from $36.72:Used from $2.47
Buy from Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 258 pages  
ISBN: 0716760347
Salesrank: 1625696
Weight:1.35 lbs
Published: 1999 Scientific American Library
Marketplace:New from £40.01:Used from £15.86
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Paperback 258 pages  
ISBN: 0716760347
Salesrank: 1437664
Weight:1.35 lbs
Published: 1999 W. H. Freeman
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 54.72:Used from CDN$ 23.26
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
Gravity is not a force acting at a distance. It is mass gripping spacetime, telling it how to curve, and spacetime gripping mass, telling it how to move. According to preeminent physicist John Archibald Wheeler, gravity makes the closest connection between the world we see around us and the inner-most workings of the universe.

In this imaginative volume, Wheeler explores gravity and spacetime by applying Einstein's battle-tested theory to both familiar and exotic phomomena--everything from flying tennis balls, to hurling gravity waves from crashing stars, the motion of the planets, and the collapse of a star into a black hole. It's a provocative, revealing, fully engaging scientific journey led by a frontline participant in the most important work in physics in the last 50 years.