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Relativity Visualized Paperback – January 1, 1985


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Insight Press (1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 093521805X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0935218053
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Best book available for understanding Relativity as a layperson.
Justin Harder
Anyone interested in truly understanding relativity will likely want to read several books, in order to view it from multiple frames of reference.
taogoat
This book is without peer in providing a visualized understanding of the issues of relativity.
wizard_chef

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Sophia Burns on June 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have tried to read several books on the subject of relativity. I am very interested in it as a hobby and have read zillions of explanations of relativity. I read about passing space ships, traveling twins and whistling trains. However, I never truly understood what is was all about, until I came across this book.
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.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 1996
Format: Paperback
Epstein is the best teacher of this difficult subject you
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 ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Yoon Ha Lee on January 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm not a physicist or physics major, but I do like reading physics on a lay-level. When I hit special relativity in college physics, it was no surprise--because I'd read Epstein's book and gotten past the biggest hurdle, being able to conceptualize what's going on. (I can tell you that as far as math goes, special relativity at this level isn't difficult at all as long as you don't get your frames of reference screwed up...which I usually do.)
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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a Ph.D. in astrophysics, I studied relativity as part of my professional education. I've read many textbooks and popularizations. This is simply the best popularization, bar none. Anyone should be able to understand it. Even the professional physicist is likely to learn something, if not about the substance of relativity, then about how to teach it to undergraduates. Outstanding!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1997
Format: Paperback
Simply put, this is the best book on relativity (special and general) currently available. Anybody can read it: shoe salesmen, physics students, whatever. It includes a very small number of elementary equations (on the scale of things like distance = velocity times time) and yet manages to convey the essence of the general theory of relativity to the reader. It certainly dispels the aura of mystery around this quite simple theory and when you have finished reading this slim book you'll be able to effectively argue with advanced physics students (hey, I'm an advanced physics student and, believe me, you know _alot_ after reading this!). Too bad Mr. Epstein hasn't also written such a book on Quantum Mechanics or Field Theory, where the inaccessibility of the texts for most people is legendary. Thus, in short: buy this book, you'll love it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Karvala on March 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book was a revelation when I read it; I didn't think physics books could be this clear! By replacing equations with diagrams, this book allows non-specialist readers to fully understand the concepts in relativity without the slow, painful progress so often associated with this sort of book. If you want just one book on relativity, that will allow you not only to know how relativity works, but to intuitively understand it, then this is definitely the book for you. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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