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The Manga Guide to Relativity Paperback – April 22, 2011

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press (April 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272723
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272722
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hideo Nitta, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Physics at Tokyo Gakugei University. He has had many papers and books published by Japanese and overseas publishers on subjects including quantum dynamics and radiation physics. He also has a strong interest in physics education. He is a member of the International Commission on Physics Education (ICPE), which is a commission of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP).

Masafumi Yamamoto earned his PhD in Applied Physics from the Graduate School of Engineering at Hokkaido University. His numerous publications include books on physics, electromagnetism, and lasers.

Trend Pro, Inc. is a pioneer of Ad-Manga--advertisement and advertising using Manga--in Japan. The company has produced over 1,700 Ad-Manga for over 700 clients, including many well-known public companies and government agencies. The company has over 100 registered professional Manga artists.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
The Manga Guide To Relativity by Hideo Nitta, Masafumi Yamamoto, and Keita Takatsu is a surprisingly good read.
Nicholas Zimmerman
That's the great success of this book, in that you learn new ideas and concepts without really having to think about it too much.
Michael Larsen
Physics is an intimidating subject this (comic-)book manages to tackle in a way most teenagers will find easy to understand.
Ricardo Bánffy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael Larsen on April 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
First off, let me set the expectation here. I'm a software tester by trade. I'm fan of science (as opposed to being a scientist). I'm also a huge fan of Japanese animation, which is commonly referred to in America as "Anime" in its video format, and "manga" in its illustrated paper format. In short, yes, I'm a grown man who enjoys comic books and I have absolutely no shame in saying that whatsoever ;).

Anime and manga is used to reach many audiences in Japan; it's not just geared towards kids. Stories range from the fanciful to the dark and gritty. In between, every conceivable topic and interest is covered and illustrated in a way that grabs attention, entertains, and helps inform the readers on an emotional level.

This combination of storytelling, emotion, quirky characters and an illustration style that's both cute and engaging helps lend it to the idea that "hard topics" can be discussed using manga, and that the topic will be much more engaging for the reader. "the Manga Guide to..." series is an example of this, and covers a broad variety of interesting, difficult and sometimes downright geeky topics. In some ways, "The Manga Guide to..." series can be seen as being on par with "Standard Deviants".

The most recent title, "The Manga Guide to Relativity" (written by Hideo Nitta, Masafumi Yamamoto and Keita Takatsu) uses the classic story techniques common to most fans of manga; student body president Ruka Minagi takes on a challenge from Rase Iyaga, the sadistic and capricious school headmaster (who also has a penchant towards androgyny, but hey, for anyone with more than a passing familiarity with Manga titles, this is par for the course) to write a report about relativity, thus sparing the rest of the class from having to do it over summer break.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Helmke on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Manga Guide to Relativity follows the actions of a high school class president who steps in to save the rest of the students at the school who were being threatened by the school headmaster with a punishment for their lack of scholastic success. To save them, the brave student leader agrees to take a special summer course on relativity and write a report for the headmaster. The student doesn't know what relativity is, but a kind and attractive teacher volunteers to teach him all about it. The story line is okay, but not as good as some of the other stories in the series. However, it still succeeds in its main task of easing the reader into the topic.

The book covers all the main questions and topics you would expect such as the definition of relativity, the Urashima Effect (where times slows down as speed approaches the speed of light), mass and the contraction of length (again, as speed approaches the speed of light),and the difference between Special Relativity and General Relativity. Each chapter contains a manga section with an introduction to and discussion of the topic. This is followed in each chapter by a more detailed and technical section filled with equations and deeper explorations of the chapter's subject.

I've studies physics, and although I am rusty, I believe the book is accurate and it is quite clear. The story created to assist with that presentation is kind of silly, but does fulfill its mission of making a difficult topic a bit more approachable and the science communicated in both the manga and the technical sections is clear and well expressed.

My kids are too young to really understand all of the details of the topics covered in this series, but they continue to read the books with great interest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Dewey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this book. It's an illustrated story about the student body president who volunteers to learn about relativity from the cute physics teacher, in order to save the rest of the class from punishment from the cruel principal.

Since I've read this book, I've read a few other books on relativity, and this is by far the best book. I highly recommend it to everyone, since relativity is an ill understood topic that everyone should really know about.

I thought the manga format of this story was wonderful, as it quickly takes us into space, and quickly back to Earth. This illustrates some otherwise difficult concepts that are hard to visualize without jumping out into space, and then coming quickly back to Earth to apply them. Even though it's manga, it has a lot of pages of technical details, so this book has some good content, and isn't just a quick read.

+Great artwork
+Great story
+The best introduction to relativity that there is!

-The technical details in the fine-print pages take a long time to read
-Spends almost all of the time on specific relativity, and skims over general relativity
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dan McKinnon VINE VOICE on August 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed some of the other Manga guides as it relates to Physics, Math, etc but I feel that this book takes one of the most difficult concepts in science to understand and doesn't accomplish what it tries to do: serve it up for the masses to understand. I appreciate the effort, but I feel that for a topic like this, it simply doesn't work. The guide is cute and the author makes a nice attempt, but I can't recommend this Manga guide due to the complexity of the content.

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