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Relativity: The Special and General Theoryby Albert Einstein
Synopses & Reviews
From the age of Galileo until the early years of the 20th century, scientists grappled with seemingly insurmountable paradoxes inherent in the theories of classical physics. With the publication of Albert Einstein's "special" and "general" theories of relativity, however, traditional approaches to solving the riddles of space and time crumbled. In their place stood a radically new view of the physical world, providing answers to many of the unsolved mysteries of pre-Einsteinian physics.
Acclaimed as the pinnacle of scientific philosophy, the theories of relativity tend to be regarded as the exclusive domain of highly trained scientific minds. The great physicist himself disclaimed this exclusionary view, and in this book, he explains both theories in their simplest and most intelligible form for the layman not versed in the mathematical foundations of theoretical physics.
In addition to the theories themselves, this book contains a final part presenting fascinating considerations on the universe as a whole. Appendices cover the simple derivation of the Lorentz transformation, Minkowski's four-dimensional space, and the experimental confirmation of the general theory of relativity. Students, teachers, and other scientifically minded readers will appreciate this inexpensive and accessible interpretation of one of the world's greatest intellectual accomplishments.
Book News Annotation:
This is a reprint of a 1920 publication (Holt) translated by Robert Lawson (physics laboratory, University of Sheffield). Here are Einstein's two famous theories, some observations on the universe as a whole, Einstein's own prefaces, and a biographical note provided by the translator. Appendixes address the derivation of the Lorentz transformation, four-dimensional space, and the experimental evidence supporting the general theory.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The great physicist's own explanation of relativity, written for readers unfamiliar with theoretical physics, outlines the specialand#160;and general theories andand#160;presents the ideas in their simplest, most intelligible form.
This book contains the great physicist's own explanation of both the special and general theories of relativity. Written for readers interested in the theory but not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics, it presents the ideas in their simplest, most intelligible form.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 161-162) and index.
About the Author
In addition to conducting the research that culminated in his acclaimed theories of relativity, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) taught and lectured at universities around the world. Einstein received numerous awards and honorary doctorate degrees in science, medicine, and philosophy, and he remains a towering symbol of intellectual and imaginative achievement.
It's All Relative
Around 1950, Hayward Cirker, Founder and President of Dover Publications, wrote to Einstein and asked his approval to proceed with a Dover paperback reprint of the 1923 collection of original papers on relativity by Einstein himself and others (H. A. Lorentz, H. Weyl, and H. Minkowski), which had originally been published in England. Einstein was reluctant, wondering how much interest there could possibly be in this relic of his work from 30 or more years earlier. Cirker persisted, and Einstein finally agreed and#8212; the Dover edition of The Theory of Relativity has been in print ever since and has been followed by many other Dover books on relativity.
The papers reprinted in this original collection will always be for the serious student the cornerstone of their Einstein library: Michelson's Interference Experiment (H. A. Lorentz); Electromagnetic Phenomena in a System Moving with any Velocity Less Than That of Light (H.A. Lorentz); On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies (A. Einstein); Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon its Energy Content? (A. Einstein); Space and Time (H. Minkowksi with notes by A. Sommerfeld); On the Influence of Gravitation on the Propagation of Light (A. Einstein); and The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity (A. Einstein) found on pages 109and#8211;164 of this text; Hamilton's Principle and The General Theory of Relativity (A. Einstein); Cosmological Considerations on the General Theory of Relativity (A. Einstein); Do Gravitational Fields Play an Essential Part in the Structure of the Elementary Particles of Matter? (A. Einstein); and Gravitation and Electricity (H. Weyl).
In the Author's Own Words:
"How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought independent of experience, is so admirably adapted to the objects of reality?"
"What nature demands from us is not a quantum theory or a wave theory; rather, nature demands from us a synthesis of these two views which thus far has exceeded the mental powers of physicists."
"Do not be troubled by your difficulties with Mathematics, I can assure you mine are much greater." and#8212; Albert Einstein
Critical Acclaim for The Theory of Relativity:
"This book constitutes an indispensable part of a library on relativity." and#8212; Nature
Table of Contents
PART I THE SPECIAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY
I. Physical Meaning of Geometrical Propositions
II. The System of Co-ordinates
III. Space and Time in Classical Mechanics
IV. The Galileian System of Co-ordinates
V. The Principle of Relativity (in the Restricted Sense)
VI. The Theorem of the Addition of Velocities employed in Classical Mechanics
VII. The Apparent Incompatibility of the Law of Propagation of Light with the Principle of Relativity
VIII. On the Idea of Time in Physics
IX. The Relativity of Simultaneity
X. On the Relativity of the Conception of Distance
XI. The Lorentz Transformation
XII. The Behaviour of Measuring-Rods and Clocks in Motion
XIII. Theorem of the Addition of Velocities. The Experiment of Fizeau
XIV. The Heuristic Value of the Theory of Relativity
XV. General Results of the Theory
XVI. Experience and the Special Theory of Relativity
XVII. Minkowski's Four-dimensional Space
PART II THE GENERAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY
XVIII. Special and General Principle of Relativity
XIX. The Gravitational Field
XX. The Equality of Inertial and Gravitational Mass as an Argument for the General Postulate of Relativity
XXI. In what Respects are the Foundations of Classical Mechanics and of the Special Theory of Relativity unsatisfactory?
XXII. A Few Inferences from the General Principle of Relativity
XXIII. Behaviour of Clocks and Measuring-Rods on a Rotating Body of Reference
XXIV. Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Continuum
XXV. Gaussian Co-ordinates
XXVI. The Space-time Continuum of the Special Theory of Relativity considered as a Euclidean Continuum
XXVII. The Space-time Continuum of the General Theory of Relativity is not a Euclidean Contiuum
XXVIII. Exact Formulation of the General Principle of Relativity
XXIX. The Solution of the Problem of Gravitation on the Basis of the General Principle of Relativity
PART III CONSIDERATIONS ON THE UNIVERSE AS A WHOLE
XXX. Cosmological Difficulties of Newton's Theory
XXXI. "The Possibility of a "Finite" and yet "Unbounded" Universe"
XXXII. The Structure of Space according to the General Theory of Relativity
I. Simple Derivation of the Lorentz Transformation
II. "Minkowski's Four-dimensional Space ("World") [Supplementary to Section XVII.]"
III. The Experimental Confirmation of the General Theory of Relativity
and#160;and#160;and#160; (a) Motion of the Perihelion of Mercury
and#160;and#160;and#160; (b) Deflection of Light by a Gravitational Field
and#160;and#160;and#160; (c) Displacement of Spectral Lines towards the Red
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