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General Relativity for Babies (Baby University) Board book – May 2, 2017
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About the Author
Chris Ferrie is a physicist, mathematician and father of three budding young scientists. He obtained his doctorate in Mathematical Physics from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Canada and currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia. Chris believes it is never too early to introduce children to the wild and wonderful world of physics! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The back cover reads, "It only takes a small spark to ignite a child's mind." Will this book inspire your newborn to be an astrophysicist? Maybe not. But there's not a thing wrong with introducing complex ideas at an early age. Maybe if my parents had this book to read to me I would be a bit smarter. . . .
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the complimentary electronic review copy!
I suppose I approach this book with a bit of bias, as it uses (without using the term) the "rubber bed sheet" description of General Relativity. I don't like this model because it relies on an external gravitational field to explain space curvature, while the beauty of General Relativity is that it is entirely self-contained with the interaction of space and mass at the center of its premise.
I also find the illustrations odd. We are introduced to a "ball" which looks like a circle with no shading to suggest spherical form. The first two times we see the ball it casts the shadow of a sphere, however. When we get to space from "a different angle" space is now clearly 3D, but the ball still isn't. It may be an optical illusion, but curved space looks like it turns back over at its edge, while it actually asymptotes to flat in the example given. The book also refers to a black hole as having a lot of mass in a "relatively small area". But it should be "volume" despite the sphere being drawn as a circle.
Also, a small particle would not "want" to go in a straight line as seen in an external, euclidean, space. It lives in curved space, and knows nothing of the straight line the author offers.
This book might be interesting to a child, but neither a child nor adult would read it and end up with an understanding of General Relativity.
The publisher provided me a copy for review.