Synopses & Reviews
In How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog
, popular physicist Chad Orzel explains Einsteins theory for non-scientists in a decidedly unscientific fashion. Through a series of conversations with his dog, Emmy, Orzel illuminates the complicated concepts behind relativity.
It goes something like this; Emmy, the curious scamp that she is, typically pursues some half-understood aspect of science or math as a means for catching bunnies or squirrels. You know, like most dogs do. When she fails, or sometimes even before she does, Orzel gently explains the flaws in her plan, followed by a more detailed explanation of the real physics for interested humans. Emmy, in true puppy fashion, provides some occasional (and always helpful) interjections, asking for clarification or commenting on the explanation offered.
In How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog, readers can expect to learn such concepts as how length contraction causes fast-moving objects to shrink and how relativity causes moving clocks to run slow, along with some of the cosmological consequences of general relativity and what it can tell us about where the universe came from and how it will end. From relative motion and time dilation, to the unification of forces and extra dimensions, Orzel will have even the biggest physics-phobe hooked.
An entertaining ride through one of the great theories of modern physics, How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog will teach you about space
"Physics professor Orzel follows his How to Teach Physics to Your Dog with a compact and instructive walk through Einstein's theory of relativity, using the same conceit of lecturing to his preternaturally intelligent and curious dog, Emma. Orzel enthusiastically tackles this elusive subject in chapters with titles like 'Time Slows When You're Chasing Bunnies' and 'The Unified Theory of Critters.' The cuteness quotient is high, but the dialogues between author and dog are helpful in explaining the difficult and counterintuitive aspects of relativity. Whether Orzel is writing about the Michelson-Morley experiments, which challenged the previously held notion of universal time and prepared the world of physics for Einstein's breakthrough, or Einstein's most famous equation, E=mc2, the prose is breezy and straightforward, and the material well organized. But there is no getting around the subject matter's difficulty, and while Orzel's explanatory diagrams featuring the ever-present Emma help readers visualize the abstract theory, the concepts remain challenging. Relativity constantly amazes, and the glimpses of understanding provide rewarding and satisfying moments. B&w illus. Agent: Erin Hosier, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Everyone talks to their pets; Chad Orzel tells his about relativity.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But what about relativity?Physics professor Chad Orzel and his inquisitive canine companion, Emmy, tackle the concepts of general relativity in this irresistible introduction to Einstein’s physics. Through armchair—and sometimes passenger-seat—conversations with Emmy about the relative speeds of dog and cat motion or the logistics of squirrel-chasing, Orzel translates complex Einsteinian ideas—the slowing of time for a moving observer, the shrinking of moving objects, the effects of gravity on light and time, black holes, the Big Bang, and of course, E=mc2—into examples simple enough for a dog to understand. A lively romp through one of the great theories of modern physics, How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about space, time, and anything else you might have slept through in high school physics class.
About the Author
Chad Orzel received his BA in physics from Williams College, his Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Maryland, and his postdoctorate from Yale University. He maintains a regular blog, Uncertain Principles, and is author of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog. He is currently a professor at Union College in Schenectady, New York. He lives near campus with his wife, their daughter, and, of course, Emmy.