Relativity The Special and General Theory

ISBN-10: 0143039822

ISBN-13: 9780143039822

Edition: 60th 2006 (Anniversary)

Authors: Albert Einstein, Nigel Stuart Calder, Robert W. Lawson, Albert Einstein

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The Nobel Prize-winning scientists presentation of his landmark theory According to Einstein himself, this book is intended to give an exact insight into the theory of Relativity to those readers who, from a general scientific and philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics. When he wrote the book in 1916, Einsteins name was scarcely known outside the physics institutes. Having just completed his masterpiece, The General Theory of Relativitywhich provided a brand-new theory of gravity and promised a new perspective on the cosmos as a wholehe set out at once to share his excitement with as wide a public as possible in this popular and accessible book.
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Book details

List price: $13.00
Edition: 60th
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 7/25/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.286
Language: English

Albert Einstein, March 14, 1879 - April 18, 1955 Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm. He spent his childhood in Munich where his family owned a small machine shop. By the age of twelve, Einstein had taught himself Euclidean geometry. His family moved to Milan, where he stayed for a year, and he used it as an excuse to drop out of school, which bored him. He finished secondary school in Aarau, Switzerland and entered the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Einstein graduated in 1900, by studying the notes of a classmate since he did not attend his classes out of boredom, again. His teachers did not like him and would not recomend him for a position in the University. For two years, Einstein worked as a substitute teacher and a tutor before getting a job, in 1902, as an examiner for a Swiss patent office in Bern. In 1905, he received his doctorate from the University of Zurich for a theoretical dissertation on the dimension of molecules. Einstein also published three theoretical papers of central importance to the development of 20th Century physics. The first was entitled "Brownian Motion," and the second "Photoelectric Effort," which was a revolutionary way of thinking and contradicted tradition. No one accepted the proposals of the first two papers. Then the third one was published in 1905 and called "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies." Einstein's words became what is known today as the special theory of relativity and said that the physical laws are the same in all inertial reference systems and that the speed of light in a vacuum is a universal constant. Virtually no one understood or supported Einstein's argument. Einstein left the patent office in 1907 and received his first academic appointment at the University of Zurich in 1909. In 1911, he moved to a German speaking University in Prague, but returned to Swiss National Polytechnic in Zurich in 1912. By 1914, Einstein was appointed director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics in Berlin. His chief patron in those early days was German physicist Max Planck and lent much credibility to Einstein's work. Einstein began working on generalizing and extending his theory of relativity, but the full general theory was not published until 1916. In 1919, he predicted that starlight would bend in the vicinity of a massive body, such as the sun. This theory was confirmed during a solar eclipse and cause Einstein to become world renowned after the phenomenon. Einstein received be Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. With his new fame, Einstein attempted to further his own political and social views. He supported pacifism and Zionism and opposed Germany's involvement in World War I. His support of Zionism earned him attacks from both Anti-Semitic and right wing groups in Germany. Einstein left Germany for the United States when Hitler came into power, taking a position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Once there, he renounced his stand on pacifism in the face of Nazi rising power. In 1939 he collaborated with other physicists in writing a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt informing him of the possibility that the Nazis may in fact be attempting to create an atomic bomb. The letter bore only Einstein's signature but lent credence to the letter and spurred the U.S. race to create the bomb first. After the war, Einstein was active in international disarmament as well as world government. He was offered the position of President of Israel but turned the honor down. Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Nigel Calder is a prolific science writer who has contributed to both British and American publications, including Science and Nation. He wrote the script for the television series Einsteins Universe. His book Magic Cosmoswas shortlisted for the 2004 Aventis Science Book Prize.

Suggestions for Further Reading
The Special Theory of Relativity
Physical Meaning of Geometrical Propositions
The System of Co-ordinates
Space and Time in Classical Mechanics
The Galileian System of Co-ordinates
The Principle of Relativity (in the Restricted Sense)
The Theorem of the Addition of Velocities Employed in Classical Mechanics
The Apparent Incompatibility of the Law of Propagation of Light with the Principle of Relativity
On the Idea of Time in Physics
The Relativity of Simultaneity
On the Relativity of the Conception of Distance
The Lorentz Transformation
The Behaviour of Measuring-Rods and Clocks in Motion
Theorem of the Addition of the Velocities. The Experiment of Fizeau
The Heuristic Value of the Theory of Relativity
General Results of the Theory
Experience and the Special Theory of Relativity
Minkowski's Four-Dimensional Space
The General Theory of Relativity
Special and General Principle of Relativity
The Gravitational Field
The Equality of Inertial and Gravitational Mass as an Argument for the General Postulate of Relativity
In What Respects Are the Foundations of Classical Mechanics and of the Special Theory of Relativity Unsatisfactory?
A Few Inferences from the General Principle of Relativity
Behaviour of Clocks and Measuring-Rods on a Rotating Body of Reference
Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Continuum
Gaussian Co-ordinates
The Space-Time Continuum of the Special Theory of Relativity Considered as a Euclidean Continuum
The Space-Time Continuum of the General Theory of Relativity Is Not a Euclidean Continuum
Exact Formulation of the General Principle of Relativity
The Solution of the Problem of Gravitation on the Basis of the General Principle of Relativity
Considerations on the Universe as a Whole
Cosmological Difficulties of Newton's Theory
The Possibility of a "Finite" and Yet "Unbounded" Universe
The Structure of Space According to the General Theory of Relativity
Simple Derivation of the Lorentz Transformation
Minkowski's Four-Dimensional Space ("World")
The Experimental Confirmation of the General Theory of Relativity
Motion of the Perihelion of Mercury
Deflection of Light by a Gravitational Field
Displacement of Spectral Lines towards the Red
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