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E=MC2: a Biography of the World's Most Famous Equationby David Bodanis
Synopses & Reviews
'By the end of the astonishing E=mc2, a dedicated reader will have achieved, if only by osmosis, an understanding of Einstein's theory of relativity and feel quite at ease dining with Nobel Prize winners. It's a lucid, even thrilling study: the very best kind of science journalism. I didn't know I could know so much.' Fay Weldon, Books of the Year, Washington Post
In 1905, Albert Einstein produced five historic papers that shattered many cherished scientific beliefs. One of those papers introduced the theory of special relativity and his legendary equation, E=mc2. Generations have grown up knowing that equation changed the shape of our world, but without understanding what it really means and why it is so significant.
In this fascinating biography David Bodanis tells the story of one of the greatest scientific discoveries in history. He looks at the elements 'e', 'm' and 'c'; and honours the scientists whose landmark discoveries paved the way for Einstein. He plots the course of the equation through the twentieth century, showing how our lives have been revolutionized by its applications; and looks far ahead to the future.
But as with any biography, it is the human stories that really ignite the subject - stories of love, courage and tragedy, of near misses, disappointments and disasters that, brought together by Bodanis in this remarkable book, turn Einstein's seemingly impenetrable theory into a dramatic and accessible human achievement.
'Both informative and highly readable...E=mc2 is a wonderful romp through Einstein's famous formula.. this is everything a popular science book should be' DAILY EXPRESS
'Bodanis himself seems like an intellectual thermonuclear explosion, a kind of Jonathan Miller on speed...This is an outstanding introduction to relativity by a gifted practitioner of popular science' INDEPENDENT
'With skill and plenty of colourful anecdotes Bodanis traces the intellectual ancestry of E=mc2...fast moving and entertaining' THE TIMES
'E=mc2 reveals, amongst other wonders, how many women physicists were involved in the story. Which makes this morally improving, as well as fascinating reading' George Walden, Books of the Year, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
'The book fizzes in the readers imagination' TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT
Most people know that Einstein's equation is important but they don't usually know why. This book takes an approach to the equation that concentrates not on the biography of Einstein but on the biography of the equation itself.
A study of what is perhaps the best-known scientific equation ever, looking at how it was developed, its use over the course of the twentieth century, and how our lives have been revolutionised by its applications. 20 b/w illus.
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