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Patty Inglish

Albert Einstein

Relativity:The Special and the General Theory

There are plenty of books that will tell you about relativity, but there are advantages of hearing it 'straight from the horse's mouth' as it were. Albert Einstein's book Relativity:The Special and the General Theory gives you the chance to do this.

The book starts with a look at classical physics and geometry, and describes how the propagation of light didn't fit in to the principles of relativity found elsewhere in physics. Einstein then introduces his famous argument involving lightning strikes seen from a train and from the ground and goes on to derive the equations of special relativity. This is followed by an explanation of how space and time become united into four-dimensional spacetime.

The second part of the book moves on to general relativity, looking at curvature in space and space time, and discussing the equivalence principle and it's consequences. This is followed by a discussion of the models of the universe which can be obtained from GR (although this was before most of the work in this area). There are several appendices, including one with a discussion of the nature of space.

There is some of the usual mathematics for the derivation of SR, but the later parts of the book are wholly non-mathematical. The book will be of historical interest to those who have learnt about relativity, but I think it will also be of interest to novices in the subject who can thus find out what relativity is about. info
Paperback 288 pages  
ISBN: 0452287847
Salesrank: 4403061
Published: 2006 Plume
Amazon price $3.89
Marketplace:New from $2.29:Used from $4.39
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Paperback 288 pages  
ISBN: 0452287847
Salesrank: 3188479
Weight:0.45 lbs
Published: 2006 Plume
Amazon price CDN$ 21.59
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 3.10:Used from CDN$ 1.62
Buy from

Product Description
Albert EinsteinÂ's classic guide to the theory of relativity—with insights from todayÂ's leading experts

This new edition of Relativity—the first updated version in over fifty years—includes a wealth of original material written by some of todayÂ's foremost scientific authorities. Bestselling author and physicist Roger Penrose puts EinsteinÂ's work in historical context and details major developments in relativity theory over subsequent years. Relativity expert Robert Geroch provides commentary on key aspects of the special and general theories; and historian David Cassidy explores the profound impact of EinsteinÂ's ideas on our culture at large. Now, over ninety years after its first publication, this definitive edition brings a classic text into the new millennium. BACKCOVER: “The additions to the original text give considerable insight and are a valuable addition, particularly for anyone approaching the subject for the first time.”

“ItÂ's as though you are sitting in his classroom, watching [Einstein] alternate between gesticulating and chalking equations onto the blackboard.”
—The Washington Post Book World