Synopses & Reviews
In 1905, a German technical journal,
Annalen der Physik, published a remarkable paper by a young clerk in the patent office at Berne, Switzerland. The clerk was Albert Einstein. The paper outlined his Special Theory of Relativity, a revolutionary physical theory which discarded the concept of absolute motion in favor of relative motion in the context of a four-dimensional continuum of space-time. It proved to be the most profound revolution in physics since Newton.
About ten years later, building on his earlier work, Einstein formulated the General Theory of Relativity in which he offered a new solution to the great problem of gravitation, postulating the non-Euclidean character of the space-time continuum. Together, the two theories constituted a radically reoriented way of looking at the physical universe, an approach that solved many of the unresolved difficulties of classical mechanics and paved the way for great advances in 20th-century physics.
This concise volume contains two addresses by Dr. Einstein outlining aspects of the theories. Ether and Relativity (1920), delivered at the University of Leyden, discusses the properties demanded of the ether of space by the theory of relativity. Geometry and Experience (1921), given at the Prussian Academy of Sciences, describes the limits within which the Euclidean or any other practical geometric system can be held to be approximately true in connection with the concept of a finite universe.
Both lectures are reprinted here complete and unabridged; both express elegant ideas in simple prose devoid of complicated equations or abstruse terminology; both offer scientists and laypeople unparalleled insight into the seminal thinking of the 20th century's greatest physicist.
Synopsis
Two influential essays: "Ether and Relativity" (1920) discusses its subjects' related properties; "Geometry and Experience" (1921) describes Euclidean or other geometric systems in connection with the concept of a finite universe.
Synopsis
Two influential essays: "Ether and Relativity" (1920) discusses its subjects' related properties; "Geometry and Experience" (1921) describes Euclidean or other geometric systems in connection with the concept of a finite universe.
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 — 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 109-164 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." — Albert Einstein
Critical Acclaim for The Theory of Relativity:
"This book constitutes an indispensable part of a library on relativity." — Nature
Table of Contents
ETHER AND THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY
"An Address delivered on May 5th, 1920, in the University of Leyden"
GEOMETRY AND EXPERIENCE
"An Expanded Form of an Address to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin on January 27th, 1921."