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The Einstein Theory of Relativity: A Trip to the Fourth Dimension Paperback – October 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Paul Dry Books; 1st Paul Dry Books Ed edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589880447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589880443
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lillian R. Lieber was Professor and Head of the Department of Mathematics at Long Island University. She wrote a series of light-hearted (and well-respected) math books, many of them illustrated by her husband. Hugh Gray Lieber was Professor and Head of the Department of Fine Arts at Long Island University. David Derbes teaches physics at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and is a former professor at Tulane University. He is the recipient of a 2007 Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching. Robert Jantzen is a professor of mathematics at Villanova University. His enthusiasm for abstract mathematics by itself and directed toward relativity started in high school after reading the Lieber's book on relativity.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
82%
4 star
6%
3 star
12%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 17 customer reviews
In my opinion, this is a "must" book for everyone, who wants to learn full general theory of relativity.
ANDREJS JANSONS
If you read this book, you will know the mathematical foundation of GR - tensor calculus, covariant derivatives, curvature, etc.
AmazonMan
The style and language of this book makes it very readable including the mathematics which the author makes easy to understand.
A. J. Roper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By ANDREJS JANSONS on October 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my opinion, this is a "must" book for everyone, who wants to learn full general theory of relativity. I had read many books about the GTR (and had a rather difficult time to comprehend them!) before I found a reference to the original (1949!) edition of this book in R. D'Inverno "Introducing Einstein's Relativity" (a very good book itself). In the introduction D'Inverno mentions how discovering this book in a local library had led him to learn the full GTR while he was only 15! This made him to choose relativity physics as his profession, and also his foreknowledge of the "hard stuff" rather shocked his professors at Oxford! Back to me: a few years ago I have acquired a used original of this book (at a rather steep price!), and immediately loved it, despite that I have already learned lots about the GTR in a "hard way". When I found that this book is going to be re-issued, I immediately have ordered a copy! Well, first, the re-issue is of a very high quality. Second, it is supplemented by the new editor's notes, which add lots of the stuff, which is missing in the original edition due to space constraints and the efforts to keep the book as "elementary" as possible. If you want to get a great help in learning the GTR with tensors and all that stuff, to really understand why the star light is bent by the mass of the Sun, or why Mercury's perihelion precession has extra 43" arc-seconds per century, buying this at $10 is a no-brainer ! Get it ! Another two good books for the start are:

Schaum's Outline of Tensor Calculus (Schaum's),
The Mathematics of Relativity for the Rest of Us
and Sokolnikoff, Tensor Analysis (out of print).
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Metallurgist TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a republication of a book that was originally published in 1945. While the mathematical approaches to Relativity Theory have changed since then, this book still provides one of the most accessible treatments of the subject. There are, however, two very quirky features of this book of which any prospective reader should be made aware. (I mention these quirky features so that a prospective reader will look beyond them in order to see a very interesting book.) Professor Lieber had the idea that the book would be more easily read by putting each phrase on a separate line, making the book look like poetry. I found just the opposite. Furthermore, when I first saw this book I put it back thinking that is was some sort of cute attempt to discuss Relativity Theory in verse. This incorrect view was unfortunately supported by the numerous drawings that the author's husband contributed. For the most part, I found the drawings innocuous and if you looked at them carefully they did have some relevance to the text. Putting one phrase per line greatly reduced the amount of text per page. Had a conventional layout been used, and the drawings eliminated, the book would have been less than 150 pages long. The upside to this arrangement is that it did provide plenty of white space upon which I could write numerous notes.

This book aims at providing the mathematics of both the Special and General Theories of Relativity, in a manner that is reasonably accessible to someone with at least some mathematical background. However, this is not the book if you are looking for explainations using people on trains firing guns, twins in space ships or people in falling elevators. There is almost none of that sort of thing in this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Baslim the Beggar on October 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm glad to see this back in print. When in high school, circa 1965, I bought the hard copy version of this. It is indeed a nice introduction to the subject. I confess I did not finish it for some years, because I got stuck on trying to make meaning of the Christoffel symbols. But nobody else's books made me feel comfortable with those, so the fault is not with the author. Eventually (after a graduate course on General Relativity), I finished the book.
This is a lovely book, written with appreciation for the reader as well as the subject. And I loved tying in Hugh Lieber's drawings with the text. Sometimes his tongue was firmly in cheek.

I bought this with the hope that the notes would shed more light on Lillian Lieber, but sadly it appears that there is little left on the record.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Nygate on February 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you know high school maths and a bit of calculus, and are not scared of equations, this book is for you. (I got English A-levels grade A in math, further maths, physics, a long time ago, but that is all the formal training I have had.)

I agree with all those who give the book five stars.

Prof Leiber writes in short sentences with lots of white space which makes it easy to absorb the material.

It is all there, tensors, the lot!

I tried D'Inverno, but it was too much for me. With this book I taught myself general relativity in a couple of weeks, albeit, I had met tensors before in D'Inverno.

It is a pity more maths/physics books are not written like this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert S. Cruikshank Jr. on June 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first found this book in my town library as a boy, and I took it out every six months or so as I went through school.
Because of this text, I learned general relativity before I ever learned F=ma! An excellent challenge for self-study.
When I saw it for sale I had to get a copy, so I can offer it to someone truly interested in learning relativity enough
to learn math in order to do so.
It is written like poetry, yet shows all the equations. Definitely worthwhile.
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The Einstein Theory of Relativity: A Trip to the Fourth Dimension
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