Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Relativity and Common Sense: A New Approach to Einstein Revised Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0486240213
ISBN-10: 0486240215
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$4.20 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$9.95 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
26 New from $2.93 56 Used from $0.01 2 Collectible from $5.95
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$9.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Relativity and Common Sense: A New Approach to Einstein
  • +
  • General Relativity from A to B
Total price: $21.61
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mathematician and cosmologist Sir Hermann Bondi (1919–2005) is best known for developing the steady state theory of the universe with Fred Hoyle and Thomas Gold as an alternative to the Big Bang theory. His most lasting legacy, however, will probably be his important contributions to the theory of general relativity.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: New Approach to Einstein
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Revised edition (1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486240215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486240213
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,068,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ernest L. Sparks on June 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
For an introduction to special relativity from the K-calculus standpoint, this book has no peer. The K-calculus approach is, arguably, the soundest approach for conceptual clarity all the way to the composition of velocities and twin paradoxes. You won't feel you are being snowed by math tricks. In paperback, this book is high value for the money. Don't look for recent stuff like superluminal physics or details on relativity experiments.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently decided to review Special Relativity and purchased all the elementary books I could afford on Amazon. I was intrigued by the "k calculus" so I bought Bondi's book. It is really an excellent book for an introduction, for someone who knows nothing about relativity. It argues everything from the first principles. I'm not sure I agree with the author that the postulates of Special Relativity are obvious, and the Michelson-Morley experiment seems almost unnecessary in retrospect. However, I'm not as smart as the author, so maybe he's right. Other than that one quibble, he explains everything from first principles, and even for someone who knows Special Relativity well, there are many historical gems IMHO.

As for the "k calculus" that Professor Bondi invented to teach the subject, I found it very enjoyable. When I was in elementary school in the 1960's, we saw some really amazing science films produced by Bell Labs. In one of them, the scientist teacher explained time dilation by showing a clock made from a bouncing photon. It was easy enough for a child to understand :) I realize looking back on it that he was using the same idea as the k calculus, but without any calculations.

I think this book is a great introduction from first principles, and as much as possible from "common sense". However, even though the k calculus allows you to do primitive calculations, if you want to do more serious calculations, you need to read a more standard introduction to Special Relativity after this one. Even Einstein eventually admitted that working with Minkowski space was the way to go, although (I am told) he considered it an unnecessary formalism when it was first used.
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on April 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
After several chapters reviewing concepts, many of which are quite irrelevant to the subsequent discussion, Bondi gives one of the most original derivation of Special Relativity that I have ever seen.
Unfortunately, Bondi does make some serious mistakes. For example, he conflates "time" and "elapsed time", which is analogous to conflating "position" and "distance". Second, by claiming that the laws of physics only apply to inertial reference frames, I think the author impedes the understanding of general relativity.
The author does deserve credit for using the correct formula for time dilation, not the naive gamma factor.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Previous reviewers who rated this book less than four stars have simply misunderstood the purpose of this book. It uses a novel approach to present the special theory of relativity to an audience of non-physicists who are not afraid of a few - very few - equations, as in the proverbial "educated high school graduate." Hence Bondi uses numerical examples to avoid many equations. The book is not meant to be a college textbook or complete treatise on relativity!

Bondi's approach makes relativity seem almost obvious. The earlier chapters, which some felt were irrelevant, are designed to contrast sound with light, which may be more familiar, or at least less surprising. There is a lot of physics in this book

Some may be misled by a statement in John Durston's preface: "Professor Bondi derives Relativity from Newtonian ideas." One cannot derive relativity from Newtonian mechanics. But Newtonian concepts can be used to advantage.

My only caveat is that there are several unfortunate typos, especially Eq. (20) on page 123.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I have read several relativity-for-the-layman books, including Einstein's own work, and this one got the points across to me the best. After digesting this book I could convincingly explain the time dialation (and coriolis effect) on a cocktail napkin. I think for the lay person, understanding of this stuff can be highly personal: dependent upon if the teacher "speaks to" you. In my case, Bondi spoke my language.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Although this book doesn't dive deep into
the equations for Einstein's Theory of Relativity,
it is an *excellent* book to learn the ideas
behind it. Relativity is a complex idea and
this book will explain well to anybody who takes
the time to read it and think about things.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the first books which use common sense approach to the understanding of special theory of relativity using illustrations, drawings and diagrams. At one time this theory was considered mysterious, which is in fact obvious and clear-cut extension of ordinary ideas to the realm of high velocities. The author first presents Newtonian ideas followed by the concept and characteristic effects of special relativity in a non mathematical language. Then he introduces Lorentz Transformation (LT) in chapter 10, which involves systems of coordinates moving relative to each other and then uses LT to establish the basics of the theory. Readers with very limited mathematical background should have no trouble in understanding the elementary aspects of the relativity. This is a cute little book (177 pages, size 7.92'' x 5.36"), which is classified into three parts. The first part introduces the classical mechanics; concepts of force, momentum, angular momentum, velocity of light and uniqueness of light. The second part deals with the peculiarities of high speeds, relationship of inertial (uniformly moving, constant velocity) and moving observers and the need for theory of relativity to understand high speed situation and a brief introduction to Lorentz Transformation. The final part discusses the consequences of traveling faster than light, acceleration (non-inertial motion) and high velocities on mass. Chapters 8 and 9 are crucial to the common sense approach to the understanding of relativity. The reader may need time and patience to read these two chapters to understand relativity. Chapter 11 discusses some interesting consequences of special relativity; for travels faster than light there is no link between cause and effect, in other words that effect could precede cause. This book is very affordable and useful; I encourage the reader to consider adding this book to his/her personal library.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Relativity and Common Sense: A New Approach to Einstein
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Relativity and Common Sense: A New Approach to Einstein

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: relativity