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The Meaning of Relativity Fifth edition with a New introduction by Brian Greene Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The author begins this book with a discussion of the origin of the concepts of space-time, the emphasis being partly philosophical and partly psychological, and the reader can see the origin of the author's operationalism in reading this introduction. He is clearly against the philosophers who attempt to remove concepts from experience and put them in his words "in the intangible heights of the a priori". The motion of rigid bodies is used to set up a discussion of Euclidean geometry and linear orthogonal transformations. The author emphasizes the role of the physicist in discerning whether a system of geometry is true or not, contrary to the pure mathematician. Examples of geometrical invariants, such as the Cartesian line element and the volume element are discussed, along with the role of vectors and tensors. Both of these are used as means by which one can give expression to the independence of Cartesian coordinates. Maxwell's equations are put in tensor notation as an example of covariance with respect to Cartesian coordinate transformations. All of this is done to motivate the theories of special and general relativity.
The theory of spectial relativity is treated in chapter 2, the author introducing his famous principle of special relativity.Read more ›
The first section on space and time in pre-relativity physics provides the foundation for exactly why his theories are so revolutionary. I was able to digest this without much difficulty. The real challenges (for me at least) began with his explaination of special and general relativity - that space, time and light are dependent on each other, and in fact are (hence the name) all relative ... a real mind-bender. Sadly, I was unable to make it through the second half of the lecture on general relativity - too abstract for one who is not a scientist by training or vocation.
Nonetheless it is a worthwhile (if difficult) read. For those who are weak in mathematics (Euclidian geometry or below) much of the details will be incomprehensable; don't let this dissuade you - part of the genius of Einstein is his ability to explain what the mathematics proves. A seminal work in science, and highly recommended for those with the patience, training or deeply committed interest in the subject.
actually MEANS. That is, what must we change (if anything...) in our world conception, in the way we think, as a consequence of his immense discovery. Just think that he meddled with time, a concept static since so long that it is registered deep in our DNA: our concept of time goes back to the epoch where our main purpose was to survive the day
(sounds familiar? No, no, it was different! It was permanent. What you experience now is transient...)
So what? Read it! It is a marvellous book. Perhaps you will have to reach for other, more elementary, books, in this enterprise. All right! That almost characterizes a book worth reading. So... go on! It will repay your efforts. It IS doable. You will come out, for instance, with a precise CONSTRUCTION OF SPACE! Your brains will be enriched.You deserve that!
However, if you have the mathematical maturity, you will really find the "essence" of relativity in this book. As the originator of the relativity theory, Einstein can explain it like no other. After his explanation, you will wonder why no one else thought about it in this fashion, as he shows you why physics has to work this way. The key philosophical underpinnings are: (a) invariance of physics under coordinate transformations, as physical laws have to be the same no matter where/when the observations are made; and the Euclidean coordinate transformation as an simple result from classical geometry.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
BEWARE!!!! This item is falsely represented as containing an inscription by Albert Einstein!!! The description currently being displayed with this item states:... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Warren F. Davis
I was also indoctrinated when I studied physics right up to PhD level to believe that Einstein was the prototype genius. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Oracle
There is no better source that the Master himself. This is a wonderful little book in which Einstein supplies his own outlook on the theory which he created single-handedly. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tullius Agrippa
The intro by Brian Greene is superb. He has a rare gift for simplifying theoretical physics down to everyday language.Published 19 months ago by Fredrick G. Richards
Other books that Einstein wrote or co-wrote that address relativity are The Principle of Relativity, Sidelights on Relativity, Relativity: The Special and the General Theory, and... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Steven H Propp
One of the difficulty I faced was understanding what was the thought process that led Einstein to the breakthroughs in such a rapid rate in 1915. Read morePublished 24 months ago by V. A. Tipnis
My boyfriend is pyisics and i gave this boook like a gift, for our aniversary and he loves so muchPublished on June 5, 2013 by margarita velandia
Other reviews didn't mention that the Appendix contains the only generally accessible details of Einstein's last attempt at a "unified field theory," by which he hoped that the... Read morePublished on December 20, 2011 by Douglas A. Gwyn