Synopses & Reviews
In this thought-provoking book, written for the layman, a noted physicist offers a fresh, nonmathematical introduction to the conceptual foundations of both Newton's and Einstein's theories of gravitation. Since Einstein's general relativity theory, which deals with gravitation, requires some acquaintance with the ideas of the special theory of relativity (not in itself concerned with gravitation), the first part of the book is devoted primarily to the special theory. This section ranges from Newtonian physics through Einstein's discovery of the relativity of time and space, to the fusion of time and space into a four-dimensional whole by Hermann Minkowski.
Part Two is concerned with the general theory of relativity proper. General relativity is based on the hypothesis that, under the influence of gravity, space and time are curved, rather than flat, and that all aspects of gravity can be understood in terms of geometry. Part Three is devoted to recent developments, including the search for gravitational waves, the quantum theory of gravitation, particle motion, and other topics. Five appendixes contain mathematical derivations for the reader who desires a more technical treatment of the subject.
For this new edition, Professor Bergmann has also added updated material on gravitational radiation detectors, current problems in cosmology, the significance of singularities of the gravitational field, and more. The result is a fascinating excursion into the rarefied world of theoretical physics, yet one that is well within the grasp of the nonphysicist. Indeed, any intelligent layman, curious about relativity theory and its relation to current astronomical knowledge, will welcome this eloquent and cogent presentation of the subject.
Synopsis
Thought-provoking nonmathematical introduction to the conceptual foundations of both Newton's and Einstein's theories of gravitation. Special relativity theory, general relativity theory, other topics. This updated edition features material on gravitational radiation detectors, current problems in cosmology, singularities of the gravitational field, and more. 88 illustrations. 1968 edition.
Synopsis
Thought-provoking nonmathematical introduction to the conceptual foundations of both Newton's and Einstein's theories of gravitation. Special relativity theory, general relativity theory, other topics. This updated edition features material on gravitational radiation detectors, current problems in cosmology, singularities of the gravitational field, and more. 88 illustrations. 1968 edition.
Synopsis
Nonmathematical introduction to conceptual foundations of both Newton's and Einstein's theories of gravity features updated material on gravity waves, singularities, and other current topics. 88 illustrations. 1968 edition.
Description
Includes bibliographical references (p. 223-226) and index.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Scope of Gravitation
I NEWTONIAN PHYSICS AND SPECIAL RELATIVITY
1 Early History
2 Relativity of Motion
3 The Universal Speed of Light
4 The Special Theory of Relativity
5 Minkowski's Four-Dimensional World
6 "Mass, Energy, Momentum"
7 Flat Space-Curved Space
II GENERAL RELATIVITY
8 Relativity and Gravitation
9 The Relativity of Free Fall
10 The Principle of General Covariance
11 Curved Space-Time
12 Gravitation in the Space-Time Continuum
13 Schwarzschild's Solution
14 Inside the Schwarzschild Radius
15 Event Horizons
III RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
16 Gravitational Collapse
17 Gravitational Radiation
18 The Search for Gravitational Waves
19 Cosmology
20 Current Observational Programs
21 Particle Moon
22 Quantum Theory of Gravitation
23 What Is an Observable?
24 Space-Time Today and Tomorrow
APPENDIXES
I The Equal-Areas Law of Kepler
II Derivation of the Inverse-Square Law of Force
III The Lorentz Transformation
IV The Schwarzschild Radius
V Gravitational Radiation
VI Powers of 10 and Units of Measurement
Glossary
Suggestions for Further Reading
Index