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Danny Yee
Popular Science
San Francisco Chronicle

Amir Aczel

God's Equation

Modern cosmology is a fascinating area, with a constant stream of new discoveries about the universe. However, to have more than a superficial knowledge of the subject requires some acquaintance with Einstein's equation from general relativity, which can be intimidating for the newcomer to the subject. This book provides an accessible introduction to the consequences of this equation. This is mostly via biographical details of Einstein's life, but also involving the other major players in the field, including experimental test of GR and earlier work done on non-euclidean geometry. The later chapters get on to the recent work on the accelerating expansion of the Universe, and how this is related to Einstein's 'greatest blunder', that is the cosmological constant term of his field equations.

I'm always suspicious of science books with 'God' in the title, fearing they might be some sort of phoney theology. This is not the case here, Aczel has taken Einstein's use of the word (as in God does not play dice).

I read this book looking for information about the early solutions to Einstein's equations of General Relativity - the work of de Sitter, Lemaitre and others - but it turned out not to have as much detail as I wanted. However, it does have a lot of information in a fairly compact book, and is well worth reading. info
Paperback 256 pages  
ISBN: 0385334850
Salesrank: 614471
Published: 2000 Delta
Amazon price $12.80
Marketplace:New from $6.65:Used from $0.65
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Hardcover 256 pages  
ISBN: 0749920823
Salesrank: 5049341
Weight:1 lbs
Published: 2000 Piatkus
Marketplace:New from £73.40:Used from £0.54
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Paperback 256 pages  
ISBN: 0385334850
Salesrank: 51419
Weight:0.35 lbs
Published: 2000 Delta
Amazon price CDN$ 15.32
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 12.52:Used from CDN$ 0.01
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Product Description
Are we on the verge of solving the riddle of creation using Einstein's "greatest blunder"?

In a work that is at once lucid, exhilarating and profound, renowned mathematician Dr. Amir Aczel, critically acclaimed author of Fermat's Last Theorem, takes us into the heart of science's greatest mystery.

In January 1998, astronomers found evidence that the cosmos is expanding at an ever-increasing rate. The way we perceive the universe was changed forever. The most compelling theory cosmologists could find to explain this phenomenon was Einstein's cosmological constant, a theory he conceived--and rejected---over eighty years ago.

Drawing on newly discovered letters of Einstein--many translated here for the first time--years of research, and interviews with prominent mathematicians, cosmologists, physicists, and astronomers, Aczel takes us on a fascinating journey into "the strange geometry of space-time," and into the mind of a genius. Here the unthinkable becomes real: an infinite, ever-expanding, ever-accelerating universe whose only absolute is the speed of light.

Awesome in scope, thrilling in detail, God's Equation is storytelling at its finest.