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Annus Mirabilis: 1905, Albert Einstein, and the Theory of Relativity Hardcover – March 29, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1596091443 ISBN-10: 1596091444 Edition: Har/DVD

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chamberlain Bros.; Har/DVD edition (March 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596091444
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596091443
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,778,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Gribbin, Ph.D., trained as an astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge before becoming a full-time science writer. His books include the highly acclaimed In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, The First Chimpanzee, In Search of the Big Bang, In the Beginning, In Search of the Edge of Time, In Search of the Double Helix, The Stuff of the Universe (with Martin Rees), Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science, and Einstein: A Life in Science (with Michael White). He lives in East Sussex with his wife and two sons.

Mary Gribbinis best known as a writer of science books for young readers. Together with her husband, John Gribbin, she has written several science books, including Richard Feynman: A Life in Science and Ice Age.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Charlie T. on June 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The idea opf presenting Albert Einstrein's own popularization of his ideas alongside an essay setting his magical year in context is absolutely brilliant, but I can't understand why the book cover doesn't make the Einstein connection clear. John Gribbin (and Mary) does his usual great job of simplifying the science, with every single paper of the five published in 1905 explained. It even turns out that special relativity wasn't the most important! The free DVD is also a really neat bonus. Whether you think of this as a book with a free DVD, or a DVD with a free book, it is fantastic value.

Charles T. Hardin
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Metallurgist TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was clearly put together to cash in on the 100th anniversary of Einstein's Annus Mirabilis. It is a bit or a rip-off at the original $25 list price, but is more properly priced at $6. The book is divided into 5 parts. There is a 41-page section covering Einstein's life up to 1905. Then there is a 62 page chapter covering the papers that were written during the Annus Mirabilis. This is followed by a 22-page chapter covering the last 50 years of Einstein's life. These 125 pages constitute the contribution of the authors. This contribution is supplemented by Einstein's 1916 monograph describing relativity theory for a general audience and a DVD of an A&E Einstein biography.
Let me review each of these components separately:
1) The two biographical chapters covering the period up to 1905 and the period after 1905. --- These 63 pages give a thumbnail portrait of Einstein. It is compact, covers most of the salient points, but is no substitute for any of the recent full-length biographies that are available. There was, however, one important fact that I learned from the discussion of his life prior to 1905. Between 1902 and 1904 he published 3 papers in which he laid the groundwork for Statistical Mechanics. Unfortunately, (unbeknownst to Einstein) in 1902 J. Willard Gibbs published his classic work on Statistical Mechanics (which is still in print). Both approaches were similar. Thus, prior to 1915, Einstein came close to scooping one of the most important scientists that ever lived. (Gibbs is generally ranked at the level of James Clerk Maxwell, just behind Einstein and Newton.)
2) The papers of the Annus Mirabilis. --- In my opinion this 62 page section is the main reason to buy this book. It shows the importance of each of the Annus Mirabilis papers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Eck on August 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book on Einstein gave me (someone who previously knew next to nothing about him save for E=mc2) some background and insight into the man behind the myth.

Like many geniuses, Einstein seems to have been a wizard with physics, but not quite so adept at his personal relationships.

The book was very linear and instructive, although half of the actual pages are devoted to a reprint of Einstein's papers from 1905, so the read is actually very short.

However, the book is much better than the accompyaning Biography DVD program which is anything but linear and jumps around in Einsteins life. If I'd watched the DVD first instead of reading the book my understanding of what happened in his life when would have been totally askew.

That being said, I enjoyed the book very much and now feel that I have at least more than the average insight into the life of a man who will forever be remembered as the world's greatest physicist.
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