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Einstein's Universe: The Layperson's Guide Revised Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0141020563
ISBN-10: 0141020563
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A valuable contribution to the de-mystification of relativity. -- Nature

Calder’s gift for simplifying the complex has rarely been better demonstrated. -- San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle

About the Author

Nigel Calder served his apprenticeship as a science writer on the original staff of the magazine New Scientist, and became its editor, 1962-66. Since then he has worked as an independent author and TV scriptwriter. He won the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for his work for the BBC in a long succession of 'science specials', with accompanying books. Examples are Violent Universe, Restless Earth and The Comet is Coming! The original version of Einstein's Universe accompanied a BBC-WGBH documentary with the same title, scripted by Calder and featuring leading scientists together with the actor Peter Ustinov. Calder continues to report from the frontiers of research, and his most recent book is a comprehensive guide to modern science, called Magic Universe (2003). It was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize for Science Books.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (April 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141020563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141020563
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I hesitated on the title because it could imply that this book is for "dummies" when in actuality one must have a "relative" understanding of science (phyics and math) in order to truly tackle the subject. But Nigel Calder has made the whole thing a lot easier.
This is NOT one of those small books with large writing and illustrations every over page. It is condensed but not obtuse - no difficult equations or esoteric 11 dimensional theory. The author tackles two subjects - Einstein and his work. Both are interesting to study but as time passes the focus will swing to the latter.
The book has chapters on almost every aspect of the theory - time, gravity, space, acceleration, light, energy, matter... It is almost too much to grasp but Calder does a fine job of organizing the material. Good book.
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By A Customer on January 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
For the first time I had the impression I could grasp some of the ideas behind the Relativity Theory. I had read a couple of books before this and did not go much further than understanding the principles of Doppler effect. But Calder's explanations and examples managed to give someone completely innocent of anything but the basics of Newton's gravitation laws some understanding of the relations between energy, mass, acceleration and gravity. The reading is always interesting, the chaining of ideas makes sense most of the time, and the understanding of this quite counter-intuitive theory is enormously rewarding.
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By kc-lam on September 3, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nigel Calder's illuminating account of relativity in plain language is amazing. The summary notes in italics at the beginning of each chapter are particularly useful. I enjoy most reading the "Afterword 2005". As the author puts it: "Einstein's questioning of the quantum theory backfired. Discoveries bolster his theories of gravity and cosmology. In the melting pot of ideas, relativity remains untamed. Dawdling spacecraft hint at a flaw in Einstein's theory. Whatever happens, his achievement is indelible."
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