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.

Buy New
$12.99
Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Sidelights on Relativity has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Sidelights on Relativity Paperback – November 1, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

See all 26 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, November 1, 2013
$12.99
$12.99 $15.78

Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. Learn More
$12.99 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Sidelights on Relativity
  • +
  • The Evolution of Physics
Total price: $24.86
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Albert Einstein (1879 1955) was born in Germany and became an American citizen in 1940. A world-famous theoretical physicist, he was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics and is renowned for his Theory of Relativity. In addition to his scientific work, Einstein was an influential humanist who spoke widely about politics, ethics, and social causes. After leaving Europe, Einstein taught at Princeton University. His theories were instrumental in shaping the atomic age.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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

  • Paperback: 24 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461047765
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461047766
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,388,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By rareoopdvds VINE VOICE on May 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the first book of I have read in which Einstein wrote directly rather than the many reiterations of his works. Sidelights on Relativity is a two part book of lectures in which he gave in 1920 and 1921. The first titled "Ether and the Theory of Relativity." Einstein explores the concepts given by Newton, Maxwell and Lorentz of the ether arguing the universe is not mechanical in nature. The other argument is the purely physical aspect in which the mechanical perspective seems to propose what is seen is that exists, and/or can be measured and proven to exist. That "space without ether is unthinkable," that is, the effects of spce/time gives credence to ethers existence just as "the undulatory surface forming the boundary between water and air alters the course of time." This, then, creates the contradiction. The second lecture is titled "Geometry and Experience" in which Einstein argues Euclidean geometry by noting the difference of experiencing and proposing laws of earth-measurement. He demonstrates this through the plane and the globe asking the reader to imagine the globe and a plane. While the plane is infinite in all directions, similarly one can fill the plane up infinately. This is not an all together accurate picture of our universe. Rather if we imagine a sphere and fill that up, we realize only a finite amount can fill up the space.
At this point, I will say that my understanding stands at a finite point in which it would be only arrogant for me to claim I understood the entirety of the book. Nonetheless, I found this book completely readable, mostly due to the fact that there are no formulas to follow. My knowledge of relativity is limited and I have given you what I believe I understand. Its a short book with the writing clear and concise and logical; which surprised me hearing stories about Einsteins genius in which he is unable to explain in laymans terms. Highly reccomended!
2 Comments 65 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
This 56-page Dover edition offers two lectures by Albert Einstein, "Ether and the Theory of Relativity" and "Geometry and Experience". The lectures are described as "devoid of complicated equations and abstruse terminology". Nonetheless, while the reader does benefit from Einstein's clarity of thought, these lectures do require careful attention. The first lecture presumes familiarity with physics; the second is largely a discussion of non-Euclidian geometry and is easier reading.

Ether and the Theory of Relativity, an address delivered on May 5, 1920 at University of Leyden:

Einstein recounts how the concept of ether originated and subsequently evolved. After some discussion of work by Hertz, Maxwell, Lorentz, and Mach, he notes that it became possible to take a position that ether does not exist. However, using an analogy of water waves, he explains that although the special theory of relativity does forbid us to assume ether consists of particles observable through time, the hypothesis of ether in itself is not in conflict with the special theory of relativity. Only we must give up ascribing a motion to it.

While it may seem superfluous to postulate a homogeneous, isotropic, ether-medium, Einstein contends that to deny the ether is ultimately to assume that empty space has no physical qualities at all. He then argues that according to his General Theory of Relativity "empty space" in its physical relation is neither homogeneous nor isotropic, compelling us to describe its state by ten functions (the gravitational potentials). There can be no space or part of space without gravitational potentials.
Read more ›
Comment 34 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
Clear and important essay on the relationship between geometry and physics and our prejudices about it. Similar essay on the history of the ether and how it evolved to fit data. An unmatched depth of understanding presented succinctly and clearly. Good read for both those with passing understanding of relativity and those with deeper understanding who want to see Einstein's clear thinking on paper.
Comment 13 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: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very small ebook, containing a brief biography of Einstein, and the text of two presentations he made. From the point of view of learning physics, these are no longer relevant, for reasons which I shall outline below, however they give a very interesting insight on how one of the greatest physicists ever reasoned.

The first presentation is an intriguing discussion on the nature and properties of luminiferous ether. Einstein shows, contrary to what is usually stated, that while it cannot be something with a reference velocity, there must be "ether" within general relativity, although it does not have the properties usually attributed to it. The thought processes are extremely interesting to anyone interested in developing theory, for he does not lurch into mathematics, but rather considers nature and shows through logic that various properties frequently assigned to ether are simply illogical, but nevertheless general relativity will not work unless there is "something" there, albeit a "something" devoid of mechanical and material properties. In this context, the modern view of space is that it is a seething cauldron of quantum events of creation and destruction.

The second involves a discussion as to whether the Universe is finite, and how we can tell. This discussion is interesting in that Einstein bases it on a premise that is now known to be wrong (we now believe the universe started with a "big bang", which voids this argument), and accordingly, apart from illustrating his method of reasoning, it has little value, other than, perhaps, to give more sympathy to Aristotle, who, like Einstein, stated his cosmology on a similarly erroneous premise for no good reason other than, "it is obvious that...".
Read more ›
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