The theory of relativity, explained by the greatest mind of the 20th century. Albert Einstein discusses the special and general theories of relativity, and the core concepts of modern cosmology, including time dilation, the spacetime continuum, and the energy-mass relationship, in simple non-mathematical terms.
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After completing the final version of his general theory of relativity in November 1915, Albert Einstein wrote a book about relativity for a popular audience. His intention was '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 book remains one of the most lucid explanations of the special and general theories ever written. In the early 1920s alone, it was translated into ten languages, and fifteen editions in the original German appeared over the course of Einstein's lifetime. The theory of relativity enriched physics and astronomy during the 20th century.
Originally published in 1916. 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....Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900's and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
Einstein's general theory of relativity requires a curved space for the description of the physical world. If one wishes to go beyond superficial discussions of the physical relations involved, one needs to set up precise equations for handling curved space. The well-established mathematical technique that accomplishes this is clearly described in this classic book by Nobel Laureate P.A.M. Dirac. Based on a series of lectures given by Dirac at Florida State University, and intended for the advanced undergraduate, General Theory of Relativity comprises thirty-five compact chapters that take the reader point-by-point through the necessary steps for understanding general relativity.
Entertaining, nontechnical demonstrations of the meaning of relativity theory trace development from basis in geometrical, cosmological ideas of the ancient Greeks, plus work by Kepler, Galileo, Newton, others. 1983 edition.
"An extraordinarily well-written, well-researched, and carefully thought out piece of work. . . . The discussions of the paradoxes of relativity and of cosmology are the best discussions of these topics at an elementary level that I have ever seen."—Roger A. Freedman, University of California, Santa Barbara
Relativity theory has become one of the icons of Twentieth Century science. It's reckoned to be a difficult subject, taught as a layered series of increasingly difficult mathematics and increasingly abstract concepts. We're told that relativity theory is supposed to be this complicated and counter-intuitive. But how much of this historical complexity is really necessary? Can we bypass the interpretations and paradoxes and pseudoparadoxes of Einstein's special theory and jump directly to a deeper and more intuitive description of reality? What if curvature is a fundamental part of physics, and a final theory of relativity shouldn't reduce to Einstein's "flat" 1905 theory //on principle//? "Relativity..." takes us on a whistlestop tour of Twentieth Century physics - from black holes, quantum mechanics, wormholes and the Big Bang to the workings of the human mind, and asks: what would physics look like without special relativity? 394 printed pages, 234156 mm, ~200 figures and illustrations, includes bibliography and index www.relativitybook.com
"Wald's book is clearly the first textbook on general relativity with a totally modern point of view; and it succeeds very well where others are only partially successful. The book includes full discussions of many problems of current interest which are not treated in any extant book, and all these matters are considered with perception and understanding."—S. Chandrasekhar "A tour de force: lucid, straightforward, mathematically rigorous, exacting in the analysis of the theory in its physical aspect."—L. P. Hughston, Times Higher Education Supplement "Truly excellent. . . . A sophisticated text of manageable size that will probably be read by every student of relativity, astrophysics, and field theory for years to come."—James W. York, Physics Today
Examines the events surrounding general relativity and the techniques employed by Einstein and the relativists to construct , develop, and understand his almost impenetrable theory in a story of the evolution of the theory's place in twentieth-century physics.
Thoroughly revised and updated introduction to special and general relativity, with exercises and extensive bibliography.