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7 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book to "understand" relativity
I read many books about the Twin Paradox and this one clearly explains the trip in detail, including the clock reading when the brother is leaving, turn-around and back from the journey. To me, relativity is truely amazing and this book can describe the true "meaning" of it. Highly recommended.
Published on July 24, 1999

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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better Available for Free
Understanding Relativity by Leo Sartori seeks to provide an introduction to Einstein's theory of special relativity to a non-specialist audience. The author discusses pre-Einstein views of relativity, the development of special relativity and some of its associated implications. The issues of general relativity and cosmology are also briefly touched upon. I offer the...
Published on July 1, 2005 by Reader From Aurora


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book to "understand" relativity, July 24, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Understanding Relativity: A Simplified Approach to Einstein's Theories (Paperback)
I read many books about the Twin Paradox and this one clearly explains the trip in detail, including the clock reading when the brother is leaving, turn-around and back from the journey. To me, relativity is truely amazing and this book can describe the true "meaning" of it. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Democratizing relativity, November 16, 2001
By 
This review is from: Understanding Relativity: A Simplified Approach to Einstein's Theories (Paperback)
Not only does this excellent text clearly explain Einstein's theories by offering a less numeri-centric study but it is by no means a watered down study either. The challenge of relativity is left to the ideas and not the equations--though the author does not shy away from explaining the mathematics of the theory with equations and diagrams. The book is also logically organized to facilitate understanding of the sequence of phenomena and research that guided Einstein. If all physics texts were like this one, there would be far more scientists around.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relativity made easy, November 5, 2004
By 
Jill Malter (jillmalter@aol.com) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Understanding Relativity: A Simplified Approach to Einstein's Theories (Paperback)
Yes, there are better books on special relativity. And there are a few places where I'd have explained things a little differently. But I like this book. It is thorough and clear. It doesn't simply tell the reader to work it out for herself or himself, but patiently covers one topic after another in detail. Plenty of, um, time is spent on synchronization of clocks and half-lives of moving muons. The properties of moving meter sticks are discussed at, um, length.

Most relativity books leave it as an exercise for the reader why a signal that could travel just a tiny bit faster than the speed of light would go backwards in time. Not this book, which uses space-time diagrams to explain this very well.

The book goes on to make good use of Loedel diagrams, and uses them to help discuss some relativity "paradoxes." Once again, while other relativity books often leave the solutions to these paradoxes as exercises for the reader, Sartori spends some 35 pages addressing many of them outright.

There are a couple of chapters at the end on General Relativity and Cosmology. While they do not get into much of the formalism of these subjects, I think they are a valuable introduction for those who may be curious about them.

This book sure makes learning special relativity less of a chore. If you are a student who doesn't mind being spoon-fed this material, you should try it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good resource, July 8, 2011
This review is from: Understanding Relativity: A Simplified Approach to Einstein's Theories (Paperback)
This book is well written and proved an invaluable resource in helping me understand and teach the chapter on relativity for the MOE H3 in-house module. Thumbs up!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, August 4, 2014
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This review is from: Understanding Relativity: A Simplified Approach to Einstein's Theories (Paperback)
A very good book for beginners, with some material not found in other books, such as alternative spacetime diagrams.
However i found his discussion of the speed of light in curved space to be somewhat confusing.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better Available for Free, July 1, 2005
This review is from: Understanding Relativity: A Simplified Approach to Einstein's Theories (Paperback)
Understanding Relativity by Leo Sartori seeks to provide an introduction to Einstein's theory of special relativity to a non-specialist audience. The author discusses pre-Einstein views of relativity, the development of special relativity and some of its associated implications. The issues of general relativity and cosmology are also briefly touched upon. I offer the following comments to potential buyers:

1. Finding the right amount of math for a subject such as this is always a challenge. Not enough and the discussion can be too superficial; too much and you can lose the lay reader. Though sometimes useful, I generally found the author's repetitive use of simplified proofs distracting (they could have been reduced or added as a appendix).

2. Discussion of time dilation and some of its associated ramifications such as the Twins Paradox was weak.

3. Diagrams can be helpful in conveying special relativity. The author's diagrams were medicore.

Overall, not a terrible book. It warrants only 2 stars because it is not good value for money. Better material regarding this and related topics can be found on the Internet for free (just google special relativity).
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book at elementary level., May 16, 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Understanding Relativity: A Simplified Approach to Einstein's Theories (Paperback)
(from publisher's ad in Science, 10 May 1996): An extraordinarily well-written, well-researched, and carefully thought outpiece of work....The discussions of the paradoxes of relativity and of cosmology are the best discussions of these topicsat the elementary level that I have ever seen. [- Roger A. Freedman, UC Santa Barbara] {I don't why the publisher didn't submit this itself! -CCW}
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