- Paperback: 206 pages
- Publisher: Insight Press (1985)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 093521805X
- ISBN-13: 978-0935218053
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #555,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Relativity Visualized Paperback – 1985
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Top Customer Reviews
When I read chapter 4, I couldn't help but giggle aloud and shout "Eureka" all through it, because now I felt I really understood it. For the first time EVER.
The illustrations are so vivid, the diagrams so clear and the explanation so simple that anybody can understand it. If you are interested in Einstein's theories, get this book. You won't be disappointed, garantueed.
will ever encounter. His book breaks new ground in relating
space, time, and mass in a geometrical way that is -- at
last -- simple to visualize. Albert Einstein's own book
on relativity, though a model of clarity, does not provide
this all-important geometric model of four dimensional
space/time. Epstein has understood everything that is
difficult for us about relativity at a gut level, and
thoroughly demystifies it, without ever making the kind
of deep conceptual errors to which authors of "popular"
books on physics are apt to be prone.
Through the simplest kind of geometry diagrams and inspired
thought experiments, he shows that relativity's famous
paradoxes are all simply tricks of perspective
characteristic of a universe that has four spatial
dimensions, not three. Relativistic "special effects"
are exactly analogous to perspective effects in painting,
but involve time and a fourth dimension. This geometric
interpretation of relativity is the only way to grasp it
other than algebraically, and therefore it is the only
route that does not involve significant mathematics. Even
to the mathematically inclined, it may provide an
eye-opening intuitive "ah-hah!" that the equations never
elicited. Not since Minkowski proposed his original
geometric interpretation of Einstein's special relativity
has there been such a cogent advance in our perspective
(literally) on the shape of space, and its relation to
time and mass, the three measurable quantities related by
relativity.Read more ›
And that's where Relativity Visualized excels: helping you get your brain around these strange, strange, STRANGE ideas. No math. A little geometry, and believe me, you don't need to remember much from HS geometry to make sense of this, if you're curious about relativity. While I've no complaints about my college prof's treatment of relativity :-) this would have helped the poor freshman engineer in my class who, upon learning why the twin paradox isn't a paradox, said in bewilderment, "But that's stupid!" It isn't--it's just hard to accept.
Most of the book deals with special relativity (linear-moving frames of reference with no forces at all acting on them), and I already had a pretty good handle on that. My motive in buying this book was that it also deals with general relativity (gravity) and none - absolutely none - of my other books or DVD's covered that in any detail whatsoever.
Now, just because this book seems (to me) to be complete and understandable, this does not mean it's an easy ride - Mr. Epstein is excellent trail guide, but the trail is rough. There are equations, which means you'll have to remember your high school algebra-I, but the equations are not all that bad. If my 66-year-old brain, over a half-century removed from high school, can make sense of these equations, I'm sure you'll be fine.
More importantly, many things that you have found intuitive and common-sense to this point are going to be significantly challenged as speeds become relativistic (i.e. a significant percentage of the speed of light). Don't be surprised if you have to re-read chapters until you get the picture. Relativity is not intuitive and takes a lot of getting used to, but it's achievable.
In the arena of general relativity, this book really shines. Explaining general relativity on a two-dimensional page is next to impossible, so the author gives you some home experiments (paper, pen and scissors) where you can demonstrate the principles to yourself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Deserves its reputation as "...the golden nugget" of relativity booksPublished 8 days ago by Jeremy M. Harris
This book succeeds in giving an intuitive understanding of Special and General Relativity. In avoids mathematics without reducing the logic. Read morePublished 2 months ago by factChecker
Epstein is a little bit like Feynman in its lectures, offering descriptions of nature that are totally at odds with what we are accustomed to read elsewhere. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J Cournoyer
Worth the money. Contains some math and geometry FYI. You have to work through his relatively uncomplicated examples to catch on. Good purchase I think.Published 3 months ago by Chris Ciancio
The author still uses "dumbed down" cartoon figures (I suppose they're unavoidable for special relativity). Read morePublished 5 months ago by Impressed
This is the most amazing book on Relativity ever written. I found myself riveted and, on a few occasions, gasping out loud at the genius of his explanations. Read morePublished 9 months ago by slinkyfish
I finally understand Einstein's special and general theories of relativity - at least more than I did.Published 13 months ago by Wilbur H Highleyman
A fascinating book written for the layman. Highly recommended!Published 13 months ago by Kevin Withers