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1. Relativity: The Special and the
2. Relativity: The Special and the
3. Very Special Relativity: An Illustrated
4. Special Relativity (Mit Introductory
6. Special Relativity
7. Special Relativity: From Einstein
8. Special Relativity: A First Encounter:
9. Special Relativity: An Introduction
10. Special Relativity: The Foundation
11. Relativity: Special, General,
12. The Special Theory of Relativity
13. Introduction to Special Relativity
14. Einstein's 1912 Manuscript on
15. Relativity: An Introduction to
16. Relativity: The Special and General
17. Cosmological Special Relativity:
18. Space and Time in Special Relativity
19. Works of Albert Einstein: On the
20. Introduction to Special Relativity

1. Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (Classic Reprint)
by Albert Einstein
Paperback: 166 Pages (2010-06-04)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1451002165
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
THE PRESENT book is intended, as far as possible, to give an exact insight into the theory of Relativity to those readers who, from a general scientific and philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus 1 of theoretical physics. The work presumes a standard of education corresponding to that of a university matriculation examination, and, despite the shortness of the book, a fair amount of patience and force of will on the part of the reader. The author has spared himself no pains in his endeavour to present the main ideas in the simplest and most intelligible form, and on the whole, in the sequence and connection in which they actually originated. In the interest of clearness, it appeared to me inevitable that I should repeat myself frequently, without paying the slightest attention to the elegance of the presentation. I adhered scrupulously to the precept of that brilliant theoretical physicist, L. Boltzmann, according to whom matters of elegance ought to be left to the tailor and to the cobbler. I make no pretence of having with-held from the reader difficulties which are inherent to the subject. On the other hand, I have purposely treated the empirical physical foundations of the theory in a ?step-motherly? fashion, so that readers unfamiliar with physics may not feel like the wanderer who was unable to see the forest for trees. May the book bring some one a few happy hours of suggestive thought!

Table of Contents

Part I: The Special Theory of Relativity
1. Physical Meaning of Geometrical Propositions
2. The System of Co-ordinates
3. Space and Time in Classical Mechanics
4. The Galileian System of Co-ordinates
5. The Principle of Relativity (In the Restricted Sense)
6. The TheoAmazon.com Review
How better to learn the Special Theory of Relativity and theGeneral Theory of Relativity than directly from their creator, AlbertEinstein himself? In Relativity: The Special and the GeneralTheory, Einstein describes the theories that made him famous,illuminating his case with numerous examples and a smattering of math(nothing more complex than high-school algebra). Einstein's book isnot casual reading, but for those who appreciate his work withoutdiving into the arcana of theoretical physics, Relativity willprove a stimulating read. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (87)

1-0 out of 5 stars The Best Way to Discredit Any Work

Before buying looked for reviews.There are49 out of 86 five star ones. So opted to buyto get a chance to touch the work of a genius. Never happened though.The book begins with text references to Fig. 1, Fig 2, Fig. 3, etc.No such diagrams.....Nada, just empty spaces... As a matter of fact, not a single drawing in the book! I mean, the book is reprinted with NO crucial accompanying the text drawings. Probably, the latter were in a separate file which they didn't copyright to make it cheaper, anyway it rendered the book useless. I would've sentenced the editor to a jail time.
Ah, here it is: "We recreated the book from the original using Optical Character Recognition to keep the cost of the book as low as possible. Therefore could you please forgive...etc. "
Yup, they sure hit the jackpot! Actually it's a fraud. At "Look Inside"they show you another edition!
In hindsight I suspect some 5-4 star reviews are fictitious(if not most of them)...OR they combined all reviews from different publications into one file. Buyer be aware!
Joseph Zacharow.

2-0 out of 5 stars This edition created by OCR, many errors!
This edition of Einstein's wonderful book was, according to the publisher, "...recreated from the original using Optical Character Recognition software to keep the cost of the book as low as possible. Therefore, could you please forgive any spelling mistakes, missing or extraneous characters that may have resulted..."

It's obvious that the publisher didn't bother to proof read the result of the OCR scan. There are many errors throughout the book. Some are obvious, others make it hard to read, or understand what the original text said. Here's an example from Section 2:

"rTTHE purpose of mechanics is to describe how I bodies change their position in space with time."

Another example from section 3, which shows an incorrect formula: W = C | V.
It is supposed to read: w = c-v

Footnotes are jumbled, and references to the footnotes are left out.

The edition is readable, thus two stars. But the poor or non-existant editing makes it harder. Avoid this edition and get one where you don't trip over all the errors introduced by OCR.

1-0 out of 5 stars be careful which copy you buy
Do not buy the copy of this book with ISBN 978-1452841212 !!! You have been warned! The equations which are set out as images (ie any that require more than simple typesetting) have not been printed, and the text just shows the file name instead eg. eq1.gif. I can't believe that they're selling this book! The other copies are ok from what I have seen on the preview pages.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book - Kindle edition readablity needs work (Driod only?)
Caveat - The equations are written in a very small font and thus on the kindle edition are next to impossible to read.I should indicate that I'm reading on a Driod.Thus, readers using other viewers might not have a problem.If it were possible to zoom into the equations, this would not be an issue, but as far as I can tell on the driod you can't zoom in.

5-0 out of 5 stars Relativity Explained by the Master Himself
Professor Einstein wrote this book for the general audience who had an education "comparable to that of a university matriculation examination", as he felt there was a great need of introducing the idea to the public; however, the original papers were too technical. He did warn that reading the book would require the reader to exert some effort, and I certainly did. However, I derived some solace from the fact that out of all the books on relativity in the (university) library, this book is one of the few that is comprehensible to me!

He first sets out conventional thinking of the day on relative motion and invites us to consider the "truth" carefully. He reviewed the concept of reference frame (i.e. coordinate system) and the use of Euclidean geometry to describe relative motion, including the 'intuitive' addition of velocity. Then he reveals that this line of thought is problematic.

At this point it is worth digressing into the means which he presents the theory of relativity. His presentation is elegant - not in the linguistic sense, but in the structure of his argument. Normally, one can start with a set of empirical data and try to work out a pattern, from there on, a theory. One can also formulate questions, let imagination and reasoning suggest a hypothesis, then find experimental data to test the hypothesis.

Einstein did it another way still, at least in this book. His general pattern is to explore some thought experiments and to see their implications. From there, he formulates the postulates and work out a coherent theory from the postulates. Experiments only come much later in his style of presentation. In particular, he postulates that (i) the speed of light is constant for all observers and (ii) physical laws are the same for observers in all reference frames. He then conducts a thought experiment, the now-famous train/lightning experiment. The two lightning bolts appear to reach the stationary observer "at the same time", but not so for the observer on the train - the notion of "simultaneity" is in doubt.

He gives credit to Lorentz - for his work of Lorentz Transformation - and incorporates it into his Special Theory of Relativity. Relative motion is no longer a simple additive relation but a more complicated one - though still manageable.

Only then he mentions the Michelson-Morley experiment but in a way that makes it appear to be peripheral to the development of his theory. He also introduces Minkowski's (his teacher) spacetime quite late, in spite of the fact that the idea is central to Special Theory of Relativity from a physics and mathematics point of view. To put it simply, it is the Pythagorean Theorem with an additional dimension of time (albeit with a form much more complicated than the 3D theorem).

He introduces the General Theory of Relativity by highlighting that the conditions which the Special Theory is valid - i.e. constant velocities - severely restrict its descriptive power. Mathematically, Euclidean geometry does not work when a given region of space is not "equally dense," as in the case above. He introduces Gaussian Coordinates, which is the generalization of geometrical continua, with Euclidean geometry being a special case.

Special Relativity and General Relativity are different because spacetime is "equally dense" (i.e. flat) in Special Relativity, since only constant velocity cases are considered; but this is not so in General Relativity. The Gaussian coordinate system is necessary to describe them. GR can then be formulated as "All Gaussian coordinate systems are essentially equivalent for the formulation of the general laws of nature." He concluded by considering the application of GR in cosmology, with such implications as perihelion of Mercury and unbounded yet finite universe.

By this point (that is, if you had patiently read this far), you might question my addition of the precis of the book here. "Couldn't I just google it?" But chances are that introductions to Special and General Relativity are similar elsewhere, and this is how Professor Einstein did it. If you had read Walter Issacson's Einstein: His Life and Universe or Abraham Pais's Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein (the latter is even more technical), this book should also demonstrate how Einstein thinks - idea first, mathematics second!

True, the theories are not something simple to grasp; but I am doing economics yet enjoy reading it - not to mention I am able to get the idea! The style of English is admittedly a little archaic but that is a relatively (no pun intended) small impediment of appreciating this great work. I would recommend that you set apart some moments in a quiet surrounding so that you could concentrate on following his arguments - that's the best way of reading the book IMHO! ... Read more

2. Relativity: The Special and the General Theory, The Masterpiece Science Edition,
by Albert Einstein
Paperback: 96 Pages (2005-11-22)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9569569069
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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From the Commentary by Robert Geroch (The corresponding section of Einstein’s text can be found below the comment.Please note that in the book, the Commentary is placed after the complete text of Relativity.)

Section 17.Space-Time

Minkowski’s viewpoint represents a "geometrization" of relativity. These ideas have, over the years, come to the forefront: They reflect the perspective of the majority of physicists working in relativity today. Let us expand on this viewpoint.The fundamental notion is that of an event, which we think of as a physical occurrence having negligibly small extension in both space and time. That is, an event is "small and quick," such as the explosion of a firecracker or the snapping of your fingers. Now consider the collection of all possible events in the universe—all events that have ever happened, all that are happening now, and all that will ever happen; here and elsewhere. This collection is called space-time. It is the arena in which physics takes place in relativity.The idea is to recast all statements about goings-on in the physical world into geometrical structures within this space-time. In a similar vein, you might begin the study of plane geometry by introducing the notion of a point (analogous to an event) and assembling all possible points into the plane (analogous to space-time). This plane is the arena for plane geometry, and each statement that is part of plane geometry is to be cast as geometrical structure within this plane.This space-time is a once-and-for-all picture of the entire physical world. Nothing "happens" there; things just "are." A physical particle, for example, is described in the language of space-time by giving the locus of all events that occur "right at the particle." The result is a certain curve, or path, in space-time called the world-line of the particle. Don’t think of the particle as "traversing" its world-line in the same sense that a train traverses its tracks. Rather, the world-line represents, once and for all, the entire life history of the particle, from its birth to its death. The collision of two particles, for example, would be represented geometrically by the intersection of their world-lines. The point of intersection—a point common to both curves; an event that is "right at" both particles—represents the event of their collision. In a similar way, more complicated physical goings-on—an experiment in particle physics, for example, or a football game—are incorporated into the fabric of space-time.One example of "physical goings-on" is the reference frame that Einstein uses in his discussion of special relativity. How is this incorporated into space-time? The individuals within a particular reference frame assign four numbers, labeled x, y, z, t, to each event in space-time. The first three give the spatial location of the event according to these observers, the last the time of the event.These numbers completely and uniquely characterize the event. In geometrical terms, a frame of reference gives rise to a coordinate system on space-time. In a similar vein, in plane geometry a coordinate system assigns two numbers, x and y, to each point of the plane. These numbers completely and uniquely characterize that point. The statement "the plane is two-dimensional" means nothing more and nothing less than that precisely two numbers are required to locate each point in the plane.Similarly, "space-time is four-dimensional" means nothing more and nothing less than that precisely four numbers are required to locate each event in space-time. That is all there is to it! You now understand "four-dimensional space-time" as well as any physicist.Note that the introduction of four-dimensional space-time does not say that space and time are "equivalent" or "indistinguishable." Clearly, space and time are subjectively different entities. But a rather subtle mixing of them occurs in special relativity, making it convenient to introduce this single entity, space-time.In plane geometry, we may change coordinates, i.e., relabel the points. It is the same plane described in a different way (in that a given point is now represented by different numbers), just as the land represented by a map stays the same whether you use latitude/longitude or GPS coordinates. We can now determine formulae expressing the new coordinate-values for each point of the plane in terms of the old coordinate-values. Similarly, we may change coordinates in space-time, i.e., change the reference frame therein. And, again, we can determine formulae relating the new coordinate-values for each space-time event to the old coordinate-values for that event. This, from Minkowski’s geometrical viewpoint, is the substance of the Lorentz-transformation formulae in Section 11.A significant advantage of Minkowski’s viewpoint is that it is particularly well-adapted also to the general theory of relativity. We shall return to this geometrical viewpoint in our discussion of Section 27. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars Who typset the math in this thing?
I realize that this is a layman's version of the theory, but couldn't someone at the publisher really take the time to typeset the equations correctly? They don't make any sense and they aren't set up right.

Also, although this is translated from Einstein's German version, there are books that better explain his theory of Relativity. He wasn't all that good at it.However, it is an inexpensive alternative for my research.

4-0 out of 5 stars Like Science?
I am more interested in biology-related science, but someone recommended this book. I enjoy reading these 'popular' works by great scientists and this one did not disappoint. While you need an understanding of physics to read this book, the information within explains the concepts very well. The math does get more complex towards the end and was confusing to me.

I have not read the regular edition vs. this one, so I can not comment on the differences. While some concepts were difficult to understand initially, I recommend this book for people interested in science (whether this edition or another edition).

5-0 out of 5 stars classic
This is a classic science book. While Einstein recommended it for college students, it would be appropriate for all students who would like to know more about physics and science, and Einstein.
While it does require a great deal of work for most people to get through, it is certainly worthwhile making the effort - if only to get the flavor of what modern physics is all about. The effort is also excellent mental training for serious science students from elementary school to graduate school.
This is a book that for most people is to be read and reread and to be kept in your library. Also recommended is "The Evolution of Physics" by Infeld and Einstein.

5-0 out of 5 stars very thin and concise, directly caught the point
describing the most advanced science 100 years ago with relatively easy language. Einstein's own idea is pretty straight forward, better than most other interpretations.

4-0 out of 5 stars Still confusing. . .
Einsein says he wrote this small book so everyone of college calibre could
understand Relativity, with a little thought and discipline. Unfortunately,
he wrote it in 1916, in Germany (Switzerland?) where college calibre people
knew more math than most current college calibre types. So even though he thinks he's being clear and logical, unless you have the math knowledge you won't be able to follow his thinking. Besides, my understanding is that, even over 100 years after he published the theory, very few people actually understand it.
Kudos to him for trying to explicate his reasoning - but unfortunately simple and clear to Einstein is something different to the rest of us! ... Read more

3. Very Special Relativity: An Illustrated Guide
by Sander Bais
Hardcover: 144 Pages (2007-10-31)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067402611X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, first published in 1905, radically changed our understanding of the world. Familiar notions of space and time and energy were turned on their head, and our struggle with Einstein's counterintuitive explanation of these concepts was under way. The task is no easier today than it was a hundred years ago, but in this book Sander Bais has found an original and uniquely effective way to convey the fundamental ideas of Einstein's Special Theory.

Bais's previous book, The Equations, was widely read and roundly praised for its clear and commonsense explanation of the math in physics. Very Special Relativity brings the same accessible approach to Einstein's theory. Using a series of easy-to-follow diagrams and employing only elementary high school geometry, Bais conducts readers through the quirks and quandaries of such fundamental concepts as simultaneity, causality, and time dilation. The diagrams also illustrate the difference between the Newtonian view, in which time was universal, and the Einsteinian, in which the speed of light is universal.

Following Bais's straightforward sequence of simple, commonsense arguments, readers can tinker with the theory and its great paradoxes and, finally, arrive at a truly deep understanding of Einstein's interpretation of space and time. An intellectual journey into the heart of the Special Theory, the book offers an intimate look at the terms and ideas that define our reality.

(20080202) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Presumes too much background
Although nicely concise, the style of presentation is quite dense and requires much energy from the reader who has not kept current with the general content of modern physics.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Geometric Approach
In "Very Special Relativity," physicist Sander Bais uses basic spacetime geometry to provide a beginner's explanation of Einstein's theory. Topics include relativistic length contraction and time dilation, the twin paradox, Lorentz transformation, and a brief introduction to E=mc2. Spacetime diagrams are Euclidian, not Minkowski, with the time coordinate set to w=ct. This has the advantage of highlighting the Lorentz symmetry between space and time. On the negative side, it's not easy for beginners to understand the need for oblique coordinate axes and rescaling on the moving frame.

No matter what approach is used, the theory of special relativity will probably always seem a little complicated when learning it for the first time (after all, it took an Einstein to figure it out!) The best an author can do is not make it any more complicated than necessary, and I give Bais pretty good marks for this. There is a certain amount of hand-waving and "proof by picture" in it, but after all this is a book for general readers and not a textbook. The book is too short, and more explanation and examples would certainly have been helpful. All in all though, a diligent reader can indeed learn something about relativity from it. ... Read more

4. Special Relativity (Mit Introductory Physics Series)
by A.P. French
Paperback: 296 Pages (1968-09-30)
list price: US$75.95 -- used & new: US$49.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0748764224
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The book opens with a description of the smooth transition from Newtonian to Einsteinian behaviour from electrons as their energy is progressively increased, and this leads directly to the relativistic expressions for mass, momentum and energy of a particle. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Yep, it's a relativity textbook
This book is exactly what you think.It's a textbook about special relativity written in 1968 - fortunately exactly nothing of value has changed in the field since then (inb4 angsty relativity specialists disagreeing with me - the math is the math is the math).I highly doubt anyone is buying this for any reason other than for a physics class, but on the off chance that someone is, here's some actual thoughts:it seems to be relatively well written and straightforward (if you can ever say relativity is straightforward).A bit dry, but it is a textbook.My copy is more than a bit faded since, well, it's from 1968, but it's still in good enough shape.I guess I would recommend it if you want to read a special relativity textbook for fun?

5-0 out of 5 stars Just Great
This is a wonderful book, I really enjoyed it and I recommend all of A.P French's books. Very clear writing, no confusion, it's a joy to read.

3-0 out of 5 stars review
not for self study. a very good book for those who already have a grasp of relativity and wish to further their abilities. luckily, it has most of the answers in the back so you can use it to learn relativity for the first time if you so choose.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
This book was in good condition, and is very easy to follow.Recommended for anyone wanting to learn university level modern physics but not wanting to go cross-eyed or get lost!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic
I purchased this classic work at MIT, circa 1972, and have referenced it too times to remember.When I bought it, the book was part of the M.I.T. INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS SERIES.It contains about everything one could wish for on the subject matter.The derived transformations for acceleration and force (i.e. of d(mv)/dt) have been especially useful, and are not often included in other books.It is truly a gem, created by a world class physics instructor at the top of his game.G.R.Dixon. ... Read more

5. SPECIAL RELATIVITY FOR BEGINNERS: A Textbook for Undergraduates
by Jurgen Freund
Paperback: 332 Pages (2008-04-07)
list price: US$48.00 -- used & new: US$38.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9812771603
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book, first appearing in German in 2004 under the title Spezielle Relativitätstheorie für Studienanfänger, offers access to the special theory of relativity for readers with a background in mathematics and physics comparable to a high school honors degree. All mathematical and physical competence required beyond that level is gradually developed through the book, as more advanced topics are introduced. The full tensor formalism, however, is dispensed with as it would only be a burden for the problems to be dealt with. Eventually, a substantial and comprehensive treatise on special relativity emerges which, with its gray-shaded formulary, is an invaluable reference manual for students and scientists alike.

Some crucial results are derived more than once with different approaches: the Lorentz transformation in one spatial direction three times, the Doppler formula four times, the Lorentz transformation in two directions twice; also twice the unification of electric and magnetic forces, the velocity addition formula, as well as the aberration formula. Beginners will be grateful to find several routes to the goal; moreover, for a theory like relativity, it is of fundamental importance to demonstrate that it is self-contained and without contradictions.

Contents: The Postulates of the Special Theory of Relativity; Time Dilation; Length Contraction; Lorentz Transformation; Minkowski Diagrams; Simultaneity; Transformation of Velocities; Aberration of Light; Accelerated Motion; Doppler Effect; Images of Fast Moving Objects; Mass and Momentum; Force; Energy; Four-Vectors and Scalar Products; Calculus with the Energy-Momentum Vector, Transformation of Electric and Magnetic Fields; and other papers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best special relativity book I've come across
Of about ten different current books I've looked at on special relativity recently, including the special relativity parts of more generalized books on Gravity, this is the clearest presentation, with a logical progression of ideas, and highly apt choices of thought experiments, making me nod my head in agreement and appreciation as I go along.I'm teaching high school physics to Korean kids and I want clear presentations to get the ideas across as well as easily understand derivations of the mathematics. I remember special relativity when I was taking physics and I never quite grasped the basic artifacts, time dilation, length contraction, apparent twin paradox, all of which I consider necessary parts of an educated person's understanding of the world. Later, reading Einstein about the Lorentz transformation, I wondered where it came from, and here it's laid out in the simplest possible fashion.It's Pythagorean Theorem! Now that's something I can teach to high school kids. The book is translated from the German, and the author wants to supplement the normal German high school and college courses in special relativity with materials that might actually make it understandable. He succeeds. ... Read more

6. Special Relativity
by T.M. Helliwell
Paperback: 312 Pages (2009-04-30)
list price: US$48.50 -- used & new: US$46.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1891389610
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Explores the 20th century revolutions in physics. This title helps readers to build up physical intuition for what is going on, before presenting mathematical descriptions. It contains many applications, ten appendices, and numerous illustrations, examples and problems. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Clear and mostly pretty good
This is a pretty good treatment of special relativity that we used in my physics class at Caltech. For the most part, it makes sense and provides good examples and exercises. The only issue is that it is a little short on its coverage of spacetime diagrams. ... Read more

7. Special Relativity: From Einstein to Strings
by Patricia M. Schwarz, John H. Schwarz
Hardcover: 388 Pages (2004-05-10)
list price: US$84.00 -- used & new: US$46.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521812607
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This thorough introduction to Einstein's special theory of relativity is suitable for anyone with a minimum of one year of undergraduate physics with calculus. The authors cover every aspect of special relativity, including the impact of special relativity in quantum theory, with an introduction to relativistic quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. They also discuss the group theory of the Lorentz group, supersymmetry, and such cutting-edge topics as general relativity, the standard model of elementary particles and its extensions, and superstring theory, giving a survey of important unsolved problems. The book is accompanied by an interactive CD-ROM illustrating classic problems in relativity involving motion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Special relativity for the 21 st Century
Why has Schwarz chosen to write a book on special relativity?After all its a 100 year old theory whilst Schwarz himself co-founded the extremely new and vibrant string theory. Well thats why I feel this book truely stands apart from the pack in that my opinion is the first attempt to bring to a wider ( 21st century) audience the beauty and elegance contained that lies at the heart of S.R. as a fundamnetal and powerful tool forming the core of our understanding of spacetime in the context of physics as it is today. I think if you have a little previous exposure to S.R. and a nimble and curious mind and a passion for seeing into the how our understanind ofspace-time works this book will truely fascinate and enlighten you. Its being an 'up-to-date exposition of S.R' is the reason for the non-standard layout and arrangement of some of the material - I believe Schwarzgenuinely wishes to take the reader through an breath-taking tour of modern physic at a level that an undergraduate can understand.Consequently,this beautiful and elegant book exceeds the scope of any other book at this level. Sure , there are plenty of 'standard' treatments of S.R. if you want them but I do not know any other book that can give a reader at this level a genuine taste of physics from Pythagoras and Galileo upto differential geometry, groups, particles, fields, supersymmetry and superstrings in one volume. I cannot recommend this more highly. A truely wonderful book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Coherence?
This book contains many topics of interest, but it is
unorganized. As opposed to the distinguished reviewer who found
it "well-written", I find the organization lacking. A
more useful approach that would reach more readers would be to
borrow the styles of Wald in his GR book, and Halliday, Reznick,
Walker in their intro book. Wald has superb exposition that
prepares and leads the reader through the details that are to
come, or those that have just preceded, and HRW has many
examples that solidify the basic ideas. In SR, should a reader
start trying to understand how space and time may rotate into
each other, and the transformations that do this before he has
seen some calculations at the HRW level first?

A more fruitful approach would be to provide an introductory
chapter with well-written exposition explaining how SR came
to be necessary (the author succeeds here somewhat), and then
explain carefully what an inertial frame is (and is not),
state Einsteins two postulates (and explain them with examples
if necessary), and then proceed to work some HRW-level problems
to illustrate time dilation and length contraction. Work examples
to show that time has properties other than those we believed
in Newtonian physics.

The following chapter could develop the tools necessary to
describe what flat spacetime is and how it differs from
Euclidean space. Care should be given to discuss the invariance
of the interval, and extreme care should be given in defining a
tensor not in terms of its transformation properties but as a
multi-linear mapping of 1-forms and vectors into the set R (the
author does this to some extent). The discussion should then
proceed to show how objects like tensors are "geometric objects."
Ex: if a tensor is defined as a mapping of ..."vectors"...,
how is this a geometric object as well as a mapping, and how is
a vector itself defined as a geometric object. Explain how a
tensor may be defined in terms of mappings of vectors, and then
how a vector itself may be defined as a first rank tensor. The
beginning reader will be confused on points like these. Likewise,
a discussion of groups without showing concrete representations
and exposition in sufficient amount will not be adequate. It
would be like defining a topological space formally and then
expecting a first-time reader to immediately see what can be
done in a space having no defined metric.

Great care
should also be given to the meaning of components of a tensor
and what information the components contain.
Examples of tensors in physics, their components and their
meanings would solidify understanding.

The meaning of symmetry and invariance should be discussed with
exposition before the fact, good definitions of these ideas,
and then examples. For example, instead of stating that Maxwell's
Eqns are "Lorentz invariant", do the substitutions and show
the reader that the form of the eqn does not change. Later, the
same can be done with the Schroedinger Eqn to show that it is
not Lorentz-invariant.

After the physical intuition and mathematical tools have been
developed, the book can proceed to discuss flat spacetime in
terms of rotations, tensor operations, manifolds. Examples should
be worked throughout the chapters, as this solidifies ideas at
all levels. Now that the reader knows what flat spacetime is,
physics can be done on it.

The second half of the book seems to be a cut and paste from
various sources that do not fit together well. I would have
preferred an organization of the following type:

1) Exposition on the need for SR and worked problems
showing the properties of time and space in SR.
2) Mathematical development necessary to study flat
spacetime (with examples)at a more advanced level.
3) Physics in flat spacetime with the mathematical tools
learned in 2); properties of spacetime; SR problems
worked out.
4) Discussion of spaces in general with varying degrees of
structure - a manifold, a vector space, etc. Explain
how curvature is determined (in a mathematical sense)
by a metric or connection.
5) Investigate curved spacetime, the reasons that the
Schroedinger Eqn cannot be cast as a relativistic eqn,
(the importance of having a linear time derivative and
second order spatial derivatives), how the KG eqn
and the Dirac Eqn evolved.
6) Leave out the discussion on strings and anything alluding
to the Standard Model. David Griffiths book on Particles
is a good source as an intro to multiplets and particles
and path integrals.
7) Focus on SR and Spacetime and the tools needed to
investigate them; improve the presentation of groups
by giving a few examples of permutation groups and
work a few problems so that the new reader will see
how they work; emphasize the difference between an
abstract group and the representation of that group;

Briefly, there needs to be more clarity of both physical ideas
and of the development of mathematical tools in this book. There
needs to be much more in the way of physical motivation for the
ideas presented. How many times has everyone seen a beginner
struggle to understand *how* two masses in Newtonian physics
cause attraction? They think they are lacking an understanding,
when a simple explanation that the Newtonian law of Grav just
gives the results, not the causes of action-at-a-distance. The
same motiviations need to be given w.r.t. SR in this book and
beyond. Suppose you continued and discussed GR. What would you
tell a reader who asked: "well matter-energy density determines
curvature, and a particle mass subsequently follows that
curvature. But if the field is a vacuum measured exterior to
a massive object, what exactly *is* it precisely that's curving?"
You can pull eqns out and show results, but a little exposition
as in Wald is worth gold.

Final Word: limit the topics of discussion and do a better job
with the writing. I know the author can write a better book than

5-0 out of 5 stars All you need to know about SR
This a very fine book if you want to go further than the usual introductory treatment of SR (like the one in Special Relativity by A. French or in the Mechanics book by Kleppner and Kolenkow).

Despite saying on the backcover that this is a book for "anyone with at least a year of university physics and calculus", I don't think this a good for a beginner who should look in books like Spacetime Physics by Taylor and Wheeler or in Special Relativity by A. French, this book actually uses tensors and differential forms and includes a chapter on group theory which I don't find most sophomores are ready to use comfortably. This level of this book is at least for someone that has finished a course on electromagnetic theory (for example using Griffith's book).

But if you are in the rigth audience this book is full of interesting material, the authors rewrite Maxwell's equation in a particulary elegant way, and manage to make accesible some topics that usually aren't even mentioned in common SR courses like supersymmetry and some relativistic quantum theory. The discussions of symmetry and field dynamics are invaluable. Note that the book includes a CD with some useful stuff. ... Read more

8. Special Relativity: A First Encounter: 100 Years since Einstein
by Domenico Giulini
Hardcover: 176 Pages (2005-04-21)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$19.58
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Asin: 0198567464
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Special Relativity provides the foundations of our knowledge of space and time. Without it, our understanding of the world, and its place in the universe, would be unthinkable. This book gives a concise, elementary, yet exceptionally modern, introduction to special relativity. It is a gentle yet serious 'first encounter', in that it conveys a true understanding rather than purely reports the basic facts. Only very elementary mathematical knowledge is needed to master it (basic high-school maths), yet it will leave the reader with a sound understanding of the subject. Special Relativity: A First Encounter starts with a broad historical introduction and motivation of the basic notions. The central chapters are dedicated to special relativity, mainly following Einstein's historical route.Later chapters turn to various applications in all parts of physics and everyday life. Unlike other books on the subject, the current status of the experimental foundations of special relativity is accurately reported and the experiments explained. This book will appeal to anyone wanting a introduction to the subject, as well as ... Read more

9. Special Relativity: An Introduction with 200 Problems and Solutions
by Michael Tsamparlis
Hardcover: 586 Pages (2010-05-28)
list price: US$119.00 -- used & new: US$92.52
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Asin: 3642038360
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The theory of Special Relativity, although a century old, it is still a theory which has yet a long way to go. Special Relativity is the ground on which Particle Physics and General Relativity are based and constitutes an everyday laboratory practice. It is therefore important that the new physicist will understand it properly and deeply, while at the same time will be able to use it effectively as a working tool.

The first part of this book develops the necessary mathematics with emphasis on tensor analysis and differential geometry on the flat Minkowski space, and contains useful material that can serve as a quick reference tool as well.

It introduces the student into tensor analysis and the mathematical formalism required to manipulate Minkowski space-time. The reader will appreciate the geometric intuition incorporated into the standard algebraic index formalism and later on, the fact that the mathematics introduced is an adequate background for a smooth entrance into General Relativity, Astrophysics and Theoretical Physics.

The second part of this book begins with the conceptual foundations of the theory and in the later chapters applies the mathematics of the first part to the study of a variety of important physical problems including electromagnetism. The approach is fully covariant with many worked out examples. It presents the relativistic collisions in a new geometric way and prepares the student for the next steps into Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity.

This book develops the conceptual foundations of Special Relativity and couples the mathematics with the physical considerations and applications. There is an interplay between mathematical ideas and physical principles and arguments, each subject preserving its own individuality whereas at the same time creating a consolidated unit. Emphasis is given to the reasoning which elucidates the structure of the theory.

Studying the contents of this book will make the reader appreciate Special Relativity both as a conceptual theory of Space-Time Physics and as a working tool in the laboratory. Both aspects are required in order to enter successfully the more advanced areas of Quantum Mechanics, Particle Physics and General Relativity required at the later stages of the studies.

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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Comphrehensive, and deep, and excellent learning resourse
This book is by far the most comprehensive book on special relativity. Actually mathematical framework and notations is treated with such style that transition to general relativity is straight forward.

Mathematics is explained really well and there are whole chapters explaining physical aspects of the theory. This books covers all the topics that a particle physicists or frankly every physicist must be at home with. Most books on special relativity do not cover important aspects of special relativity in enough depth as to make a student at home with special relativity. This is sad as without internalizing the physics of special/general relativity and quantum mechanics, NO one can think as "real physicist" can.

This book is remarkable in that it covers so many aspects of special relativity with sound mathematical treatment that is understandable and most importantly makes one at home with special relativity. It goes beyond what others book covered.

Even more profoundly the solved problems and solutions are excellent and make a book an ideal tool for self learning.
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10. Special Relativity: The Foundation of Macroscopic Physics (Volume 0)
by W. G. Dixon
Paperback: 272 Pages (1982-12-30)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$30.87
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Asin: 0521272416
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The prediction of the special theory of relativity differ significantly from those of Newtonian physics only for bodies whose speeds are comparable with the speed of light. For this reason, special relativity is often considered as irrelevant to the macroscopic physics of ordinary material systems under terrestrial conditions. The aim of this book is to show that by uniting dynamics, thermodynamics and electromagnetism into a coherent whole, special relativity illuminated each of these subjects in a manner which cannot be obtained by studying them in isolation. The speed of the systems concerned is irrelevant. This deep and careful analysis of special relativity is suitable for second- and subsequent- year university students studying physics or applied mathematics. Its distinctive approach will also appeal to research workers in general relativity, in continuum thermodynamics and in the electrodynamics of continuous media. ... Read more

11. Relativity: Special, General, and Cosmological
by Wolfgang Rindler
Paperback: 448 Pages (2006-06-01)
list price: US$65.00 -- used & new: US$52.12
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Asin: 0198567324
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Relativistic cosmology has in recent years become one of the most exciting and active branches of current research. In conference after conference the view is expressed that cosmology today is where particle physics was forty years ago, with major discoveries just waiting to happen. Also gravitational wave detectors, presently under construction or in the testing phase, promise to open up an entirely novel field of physics.

It is to take into account such recent developments, as well as to improve the basic text, that this second edition has been undertaken. The most affected is the last part on cosmology, but there are smaller additions, corrections, and additional exercises throughout.

The books basic purpose is to make relativity come alive conceptually. Hence the emphasis on the foundations and the logical subtleties rather than on the mathematics or the detailed experiments per se. Aided by some 300 exercises, the book promotes a deep understanding and the confidence to tackle any fundamental relativistic problem. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Unavoidable
This book is an update of the author's previous work "Essential Relativity," although the former book remains available through another publisher."Essential Relativity" contains interesting (to me) material that had to be omitted from the new volume.The new volume contains necessary updates.The author is a world class scholar, and he gives a very comprehensive introduction to relativity, both special and general.Consequently, every serious student will be forced to purchase this book and study it thoroughly and quite carefully.

As churlish as it may sound, I expect more from a world class scholar, teamed with one of the top technical publishers in the world.Rindler really begins the technical discussion in section 2.7, which is a modest edit of a section from his previous book "Introduction to Special Relativity." In it, he considers a free particle whose trajectory is parameterized by its own particular clock, mu.He then considers the coordinates of two separate inertial references frames.By differentiating by mu, he is able to show that the coordinates of inertial systems have to be linearly related.A page or two later, he has derived the whole Lorentz transformation in quite a lot of detail (not perfect detail).On finding the "truth," we then see that different observers see time sources quite differently.This is not obviously consistent with the original differentiation.For beginning classes, at least, this is at least an unnecessary source of potential confusion.Compare and contrast this ponderous progression with the smooth and economical set up for the Lorentz Transformation that is to be found in the first chapter of Landau and Lifschitz's "Classical Theory of FIelds."It seems, at first, that Landau Lifschitz is at least infinitely better---maybe more.Is Rindler somehow silly, or a person of poor taste?No, that's not at all the case.He makes this choice for a clear pedagogical reason.He wants to show that the principle that physics is the same in all inertial systems is of primary importance and that the invariance of light speed in all inertial frames gives us much less information. Is that true?It could be true (read Landau Lifschitz), but it is, whatever else, the view of an important scholar, and one that every student needs to take seriously---even if it is phrased in quite a laborious and perhaps somewhat self-inconsistent way.

Rindler clearly tries to give the best possible understanding of the physics, apart from the mathematics.In that he certainly gets a partial success, but he seems to me not to get a full success.For that, I could cite his explanation of the relativity of simultaneity, time dilation, and space contraction in section 2.4.On the one hand, it is clearly independent of mathematics.On the other hand, I find it labored and unclear---perhaps poorly edited.These are very early examples in the book.To me, the whole book is something like that.It attempts to put full emphasis on the physical view while including only enough mathematics to make everything correct and essentially complete.

It is my own idea that most people will be better served to use the two volumes of N.M.J. Woodhouse (of Oxford University) on special and general relativity as a better, easier, clearer introduction.Woodhouse makes no attempt to sidestep the mathematics, and that is appropriate.There is no actual understanding of relativity apart from the mathematics.So, it makes sense to grin and embrace it.I think his is the clearer and better place to start.For special relativity, the easy book of Taylor and Wheeler is probably better (although maybe a little cheesy).Everyone will need to read Rindler at some stage.Personally, I think it better to leave it as a "have to read"---like it or not.It's aggravatingly unclear in important points.These ought to be something of an obstacle to first learning, although they will not really encumber a sophisticated reader. First become sophisticated with Woodhouse and then you can read Rindler through much more economically and without being bothered on belabored points.

Rindler is actually a world class scholar---a great man.That is not tongue in cheek or some sort of backhanded attempt to insult him.He actually is a great scholar, and I respect that.I expect great scholars to offer better writing than this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Delivery Speed
The book was in perfect condition and got to my place within a couple of days after ordering it.Great speed!

2-0 out of 5 stars no explanation of tensors, co-variance, etc.
The author does a pretty good job of explaining physical concepts, but is obviously impatient at explaining mathematics.In the chapter on electromagnetism he introduces tensor notation and important theorems such as co- and contra-variance without explanation.In some cases he says "the proof is left to the reader."The treatment is much less detailed than Einstein's original 1915 paper.It is like a book that purports to teach you French, and which summarily presents an abstract French-English dictionary and then the rest of the book is written in French.

2-0 out of 5 stars One of the worst text on GR
This is one of the worst text I came across. Author keep discussing a topic but never points to the result. A book where you keep flipping back and forth to make sense. Often notations are used but there is no explanation what they represents. I have gone through chapter 15 and 18 ,on Linearized GR and FRW metric, following every step and found out that there are few errors and a lot of key steps are omitted. For example, gauge transformations are done and results are obtained but if you won't consult other similar texts then you won't know what are the results and which are the transformations, unless you already are a professor. Almost same topic is discussed in Inverno's book and you can clearly see what are the various transformations and what are the results.

A book may contain every topic what you are looking for but the key Qs is how well are they conveyed. In order to write an excellent text the author should be first clear about it in his own mind and organize it before publishing it. Save yourself and get a nicer book like Inverno or Stephani. I would not recommend this text for GR unless absolutely necessary.

5-0 out of 5 stars Whoosh
Professor Rindler explains the concepts with clarity and rigour while minimising the complexities of the notation and formulae.His ability to put ideas into words is outstanding.If you have heard the tales of trains that whoosh past in the ether, and are still none the wiser; or have wondered how the background radiation that set out on its way at the speed of light when the world was a smaller simpler place is only now reaching us, this book will enlighten you.Even for those whose maths cannot keep up it should be worthwhile, stimulating even, to read the sections at the beginning of each chapter, and those elsewhere light in formulae.For those willing to tackle the exercises he is perhaps a little too generous with the hints. ... Read more

12. The Special Theory of Relativity (Routledge Classics)
by David Bohm
Paperback: 304 Pages (2006-09-15)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$12.62
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Asin: 0415404258
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In these inspiring lectures David Bohm explores Albert Einstein’s celebrated Theory of Relativity that transformed forever the way we think about time and space. Yet for Bohm the implications of the theory were far more revolutionary both in scope and impact even than this. Stepping back from dense theoretical and scientific detail in this eye-opening work, Bohm describes how the notion of relativity strikes at the heart of our very conception of the universe, regardless of whether we are physicists or philosophers.

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Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars 4.5*, Good, but not quite 5 stars
If fractional stars could be awarded I would give this book 4.5 stars.I liked it but in my opinion was not quite a 5 star book.Being unable to give it 4.5 stars I am giving it the benefit of the doubt and going with 5 stars, but with some reservations, discussed below.

I really liked the first three-quarters of the book.Professor Bohm writes with clarity, giving more than just derivations of basic equations (which he does with some rigor), but also provides a very clear exposition of why things are what the theory says they are.He provides not only the standard treatment of relativity, but also provides details about the ether theory, Lorentz' attempt to save it in the face of contradictory experimental evidence and the behavior of charged particles in electromagnetic fields - the last item a subject that is generally not covered in a basic treatment of relativity theory.In terms of difficulty, I would rate the book as being much more difficult than Gardner's "Relativity Simply Explained" or Wolfson's "Simply Einstein", but less difficult than an intermediate college text.It is suitable for someone wishing to learn the subject on their own, but only if they have some physics background and are willing to deal with some basic algebra and a little first year college math.It is also very useful for someone studying this subject in college, as Professor Bohm's explanations of the nature of relativity theory are very good, making this an excellent adjunct to a standard college text.

Unfortunately, I found the last quarter of the text a bit less clear than the first three-quarters.This latter quarter deals with the Minkowski Diagram, K calculus and applications of these subjects.Many basic books cover Minkowski's space-time approach, but few cover K calculus, for good reason.I found these discussions rushed and far from clear.Also, the text covering several of the figures contain reference to letter denoted items that are not on the figure, making it very difficult to follow what Bohm is trying to get across.As noted by other reviewers, there were some typographical errors (mostly leaving out prime superscripts and alike) that needlessly confused things. I had the feeling that if another 50 pages had been allotted to the latter half of the book it would have been greatly improved.

There is a 60-page appendix that discusses Physics and Perception.Professor Bohm obviously was greatly influenced by the work of Piaget and other physiologists and used this to try to explain how we learn to interpret the world, how this defines our concept of it, and why this makes the basic concepts of Special Relativity are so difficult to accept.While very useful and informative, this is an area where I think that less would have definitely been more. A brief 10-page summary would been, for me, clearer, more focused, and would therefore have had more impact.

All in all, I liked this book and would recommend it to someone who is really interested in Relativity Theory, but if all you want is a basic primer on what the subject is about, without somewhat rigorous mathematical derivations, then this would not be the best choice for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Special relativity for deep thinkers!
A great book made by a great physicist, it covers the historical, mathematical, empirical and philosophical issues of special relativity in a clear way.
It includes: Michelson-Morley experiment, Lorentz transformations, mass and energy equivalence, relativistic law for energy and momentum transformation, charged particles in electromagnetic field, Minkowski diagram, paradox of twins and others. It also has a very deep appendix about physics and perception explaining the way we see the world around us, with the work of swiss epistemologist Jean Piaget as background.
A nice book to understand special relativity.

4-0 out of 5 stars a nice motivation of special relativity concepts.
Due to appreciation of Bohm's Quantum Theory text I didn't hesitate to borrow this from the library when I saw it in the catalogue.

Much of the book was very enjoyable and informative to read.Like Bohm's Quantum Theory book, this has a great deal of well thought out logical development of the subject, a great deal of which does not require much mathematics to appreciate.The discussion of the Lorentz and the aether theory fit well with the development of the Lorentz transformation, general velocity addition and other concepts.That Lorentz theory discussion provided nice context for the introduction of Einstein's relativity principle, and one is left better able to appreciate the differences from the mechanistic model.

The idea that our perceptions, and preconceptions towards non-relativisitic descriptions are learned was interesting.That said I have to admit that the non-technical appendix that discussed this in depth lacked the technical content required to hold my interest.

Some of the mathematics bits were actually fairly tricky, in particular, the transformation of the Lorentz force equation.The approach seemed straightforward, but the algebra gets hairy.The part that was left as an exercise for the reader to verify was particularly messy.

As observed by one of the other reviewers, there were many typography errors in the mathematics.These were usually self correcting in later steps so I imagine they were not in the original manuscript.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Purely Conceptual View of STR
Here, David Bohm, one of Einstein's last students, brings to our attention in his usual clear, thorough and exciting way, just how revolutionary and counter-intuitive the ideas that underlie the Special Theory of Relativity really were, and still are, and indeed how different they are from the standard model of physics. In order to fully appreciate the radical nature of the changes needed to make the transition, from the "Standard Model" to "Relativistic Physics," he includes a complete appendix from which he draws most of his conceptual (i.e. Psychological and Philosophical) insights. Rather surprisingly they were taken mostly from the works of none other than the famous Swiss Child Psychologist Jean Piaget, which at the time the book was written in 1967, were quite revolutionary themselves.Judging by this rather astoundingly clear appendix alone, called "Physics and Perceptions," in which Bohm lays out a deep conceptual framework upon which the book is hung, one could argue that Professor Bohm is at least as proficient a social scientist and analytical psychologist as he is a Physicist.

Because of its centrality to the book, my advice to the reader is to read the appendix first, or at least at a very early stage of the book, because it is there that the substance of the book takes shape and form. The physics concepts are almost incidental to this underlying conceptual theme.

That said, it must be pointed out that this then is a wholly conceptual, rather than a mathematical book on the Special Theory. No mathematics are needed and none are used. In many ways it parallels Amos Harpaz's equally excellent conceptual book, called "Relativity Theory: Concepts and Basic Principles," which attempts to do the same thing for the General Theory, except in Harpaz's case (written almost 30 years later), even to explain the concepts of GT required, as a minimum, the Tensor Calculus.

The beauty of the present volume is that even though we have heard it all before and thought we fully understood the conceptual basis of the Special Theory, and all the many nuances of the Michelson-Morley experiments with the ether, Lorentz transforms, Maxwell equations, to Minkowski's geometry, and on to the tricky aspects of reformulating space-time itself, it all has a fresh (not a historical) resonance in Bohm's skilful hands.

And as always, here again, as he has done in his other writings especially those since, on "The Implicate Order," for instance, there is something novel to learn and understand with each new recounting by Bohm. It is not just the way the concepts are applied to physics alone that matters in Bohm's recounting, but also how they are used in other contexts, in the arts for instance, or to modern applied physics and engineering technology, and how Relativity has become a metaphor of our culture, more generally.

Bohm's explanations are so clear and so carefully laid out that there is no margin of error for misunderstanding. For that alone and the historical value of the book itself (it may even be clearer than Einstein's own popular book on STR) earns five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thorough on the science, astute on the philosophy
A thorough but very down-to-earth introduction to the math, physics and philosophy of special relativity, and some of the history leading to its development.Bohm is such a first-rate physicist (well known for his original theorizing about quantum reality) and also a superb teacher who understands where others are coming from.The best quality is his well-rounded understanding of human cognition as it relates to the concepts of the relativity of space and time, matter and energy, etc.A long and really worthwhile appendix discusses Piaget's models of how children form ideas about space, time, permanence, change, etc., and, since we were all children once, the source of many of the metaphors and thought patterns that we bring to our understanding of classical space and time, and also relativity.He argues -- and shows -- that relativity's ideas of flexible space, time, etc., are actually close in structure to a child's notion of the world and therefore not so counter-intuitive as we often think they are.Indeed, his constant message is, "This isn't really so hard, nor is it really as strange as it's made out to be."He shows the errors of the absolutism (and arrogance, really) that grew out of Galileo's and Newton's approaches toward "eternal verities" about the universe, and finds in relativity not only a different approach toward space, time, matter, energy, etc., but toward doing science.
In the process he does a LOT of math, and relates the formulas to the philosophy and threory he expounds.The math is not hard -- almost no calculus, mostly algebra, a little trigonometry.If you really study this, you can have a very deep understanding of why special relativity concludes what it does.The discussion of Minkowski's geometrical approach is very helpful and complements well the earlier algebraic treatment of the Lorentz transformations.
I've read quite a few popular books on special relativity and this is definitely among the very best.Bohm converses with the reader, doesn't talk down, and is wise, not cute, about the most surprising aspects of the theory.He clearly has thought deeply about the meaning of special relativity, and I came away feeling fortunate for having one of the great physics minds of our century share his creative insights and many years of experience with me.His thinking has a broad reach -- herefers to Thomas Kuhn several times, and his focus on the physical experience behind our abstract concepts reminded me of Lakoff and Núñez's groundbreaking "Where Mathematics Comes From," and Lakoff and Johnson's "Metaphors We Live By" (both written well after this 1965 book).I feel I understand not only special relativity better, but science in general and its place in our thought.

There are a few small drawbacks. I found myself skipping over some of the tedious derivations of the formulas and picking up without missing anything.The edition I read (Routledge, ppbk 1996) has a few minor math mistakes, which is a pain when you're trying to follow the steps carefully.But all-in-all I found myself eager to come back to the book until I finished it, andI've underlined so much that I'll be going back to it again soon, I think. ... Read more

13. Introduction to Special Relativity
by Wolfgang Rindler
Paperback: 184 Pages (1991-07-11)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$56.78
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Asin: 0198539525
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This textbook offers a concise but thorough treatment of the theory of special relativity for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students.Assuming no prior knowledge of relativity, the author elaborates the underlying logic and describes the subtleties and apparent paradoxes.The text also contains a large number of problems which cover the basic modes of thinking and calculating in special relativity.Emphasis is placed on developing the student's intuitive understanding of space-time geometry along with the necessary methods of four-tensor calculus, though three-dimensional methods are also described.This updated new edition contains additional examples and problems, and the chapter on relativistic mechanics of continua has been substantially rewritten. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best and most accessible intro to special relativity
The special theory of relativity was proposed in 1905 by Albert Einstein in his article "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies". Some three centuries earlier, Galileo's principle of relativity had stated that all uniform motion was relative, and that there was no absolute and well-defined state of rest; a person on the deck of a ship may be at rest in his opinion, but someone observing from the shore would say that he was moving. Einstein's theory combines Galilean relativity with the postulate that all observers will always measure the speed of light to be the same no matter what their state of uniform linear motion is. This theory has a variety of surprising consequences that seem to violate common sense, but which have been verified experimentally and overthrows Newtonian notions of absolute space and time by stating that distance and time depend on the observer, and that time and space are perceived differently, depending on the observer.

This book assumes no prior knowledge of relativity, and I have found it great as a device for self-teaching this fascinating subject. It elaborates on the underlying logic, dwells on the subtleties and apparent paradoxes, and contains a large number of problems which cover all the basic modes of thinking and calculation in this discipline.

The viewpoint of the first three chapters is three-dimensional. These chapters include simple introductions to topics such as the relativity of simultaneity, length contraction, time dilation, the twin paradox, and the appearance of moving objects. Starting in chapter four on spacetime, the strongest possible use is made of four-dimensional techniques. Pure tensor theory is relegated to the appendix, so that it can serve as chapter 3.5 for readers that are unfamiliar with it. In chapters 5 and 6, on mechanics and electromagnetism, a purely synthetic four-tensor approach is adopted.This is simpler and more transparent than the historical approach, a good example of four-dimensional reasoning, and also brings the reader face-to-face with the man-made aspect of physical laws. In the last chapter on the mechanics of continua, the synthetic approach is somewhat softened by the well-known analogy with electromagnetism. I highly recommend this very readable book on a complex subject. It is especially helpful to those with an engineering background, since it makes heavy use of examples and diagrams to explain concepts. The table of contents is as follows:

1. Foundations of Special Relativity
2. Relativistic Kinematics
3. Relativistic Optics
4. Spacetime
5. Relativistic Particle Mechanics
6. Relativity and Electromagnetism in Vacuum
7. Relativistic Mechanics of Continua
Appendix: Tensors for Special Relativity

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid Introduction to Special Relativity
This is a short, but well written, text on special relativity written at the level of an advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate student.Most discussions of special relativity are either very basic (little more than a discussion of Lorentz transformations and the postulates of relativity) or advanced presentations that are meant as lead-ins to general relativity.This book nicely fills the gap between these two extremes.The mathematical presentation is complete, but this text also contains detailed discussions of basic ideas to explain results with words, not just equations.There are also many useful problems at the end of each chapter.This book contains chapters on the relativistic mechanics of particles, electromagnetism, and the mechanics of fluids, although the fundamental ideas and mathematics are clearly elaborated in the first several chapters.Rindler also describes (and resolves) the Lorentz paradox and the twin paradox at length.This is an outstanding book, and if you are looking to fill the gap between the basics and GR, this is the text you need.

4-0 out of 5 stars The best introduction to Special Relativity (in English)
This textbook is, probably, the best introduction to special relativity in English language.

Professor Rindler presents a skilful introduction to flat spacetime using four-tensors and allowing the neophyte to get leisurely acquainted with the nondefinite metric of Minkowskian spacetime through several worked and insightful examples -- not to mention the most interesting collection of problems, presented at the end of each chapter, that I have encountered in a textbook at this introductory level.

Having said that, I must add two remarks.

My first remark is that I cannot understand the reason why textbooks in English (as this one) insist in deriving the Lorentz transformation using Einstein's second postulate on the speed of light: as already pointed out by Jean-Marc Levy-Leblond (Am. J. Phys., Vol. 44, pp. 271-277, 1976), this second postulate is not only superfluous but also epistemological misleading -- see, e.g., the French textbook by J. Hladik and M. Chrysos (Introduction a la Relativite Restreinte, Dunod, Paris, 2001) which can be bought at Amazon.fr.

My second remark is that I think Hestenes' geometric algebra -- see, e.g., his article in Am. J. Phys., Vol. 71, pp. 691-714, 2003 -- is the most appropriate mathematical tool to present special relativity, even at the undergraduate level. You can check this out in his book "New Foundations for Classical Mechanics" (2nd ed., Kluwer, 1999), namely in Chapter 9.

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful
The author has the knack of always saying just exactly the needed words to connect the math with the physics.After reading every line of this book very carefully I can say that at last Iunderstand special relativity. ... Read more

14. Einstein's 1912 Manuscript on the Special Theory of Relativity
by Hanoch Gutfreund
Paperback: 176 Pages (2004-05-17)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$15.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807615323
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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"The influence of Einstein's contributions on so many branches of physics is such that if one wanted to describe its full extent, it would be hard to know where to begin. His work and discoveries...are so fundamental that each achievement alone would have guaranteed him a prominent place in the history of physics. But what brought him unprecedented fame outside his own discipline is undoubtedly his theory of relativity, which revolutionized the old, established Newtonian picture of space, time, and gravitation."—Professor Hanoch Gutfreund, from the Introduction

This volume, an abridged version of our cloth, slipcased edition, presents one of the most influential scientific documents of the twentieth century: Albert Einstein's exposition of the theory of relativity. Each of the seventy-two handwritten pages are reproduced and are accompanied by an English translation of the original German text.

A tribute to Einstein's genius, Einstein's 1912 Manuscript on the Special Theory of Relativity opens with a brief essay by Hanoch Gutfreund, a chronology of Einstein's life, a selection of quotes by Einstein, and, to introduce the manuscript, a detailed description of the manuscript, its contents, publication history, and provenance. The manuscript pages themselves then follow, reproduced in full color, with the English translation facing each page.

Subtle variations in paper and ink are clearly visible in the excellent reproductions, indicating where and when Einstein drafted certain parts. Because the manuscript shows extensive reworking, it reveals Einstein's thought processes more than any other of his handwritten works.

Providing a glimpse into one of the greatest minds of the last century, Einstein's 1912 Manuscript is for anyone fascinated by Einstein and the impact of his revolutionary theory. 72 color pages. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Centenary Tribute to Einstein and his Special Theory of Relavitity
The book I have is the hard back version (rather than this, the paperback version) that contains actual Photostat facsimiles of Einstein's 1912 manuscript on the special theory of relativity. It is a beautifully bound and boxed book (12 by 18 inches) that has Einstein's signature engraved in gold on the cover. Up through part three, at which time the mathematical equations and diagrams (in Einstein's own hand writing) are introduced, are full-page professional photographs of the great Scientist as he aged from 1912 until his death in 1955.

The body of the text consists of a series of one-page tributes to Einstein by his closest friends and colleagues, mostly from his twenty-two years at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study. It also contains a page of his most famous quotations on politics, peace and war, as well as in the main body, the aforementioned facsimile of the paper presented in 1912. The Photostats contain both Einstein's actual hand-written equations and diagrams, accompanied by notes with annotations and explanations in German. Opposite each page of the facsimile, are English translations of the annotations and commentaries on the equations as they evolve. These are provided either by the author or by a select group of Physicists familiar both with Einstein himself and who are experts in the field and areas being discussed.

What is most beautiful about this book is not just the tributes to Einstein given in the introduction, but also, the rich discussions and annotations that serve to summarize for the reader Einstein the Scientist, the Humanist, and Zionist.Among the things contained in the introduction is the content of the letters from Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion offering Einstein the Presidency of Israel, and Einstein's letter of rejection. In part two are the thoughts and reminiscences by his close friends and colleagues. Part three begins with a select collection of the great professor's most famous quotes, and then provides a chronology of his life. Afterwards, part four then provides an overview of the Special Theory. Part five establishes the provenance of this manuscript as the oldest surviving autograph manuscript by Einstein on the Special Theory of Relativity; it is the most substantial and significant surviving scientific manuscript written by Einstein during the period of his greatest creativity.

What is most striking about this manuscript (which for me, was the ultimate Christmas present) is the fact that up through the tensor calculus (page 36 and beyond) Einstein's explanations are accessible to a reader with a minimum of a strong second course in calculus up through the tensors. After that, when Einstein himself begins to struggle with the geometric implications of his own theory, the mathematics become a bit more challenging. Despite this even beyond this point, there is an orderly progression through the concepts and problems the great professor faced. As a result, a great deal can be gleaned by reading between the lines and (between the equations even if they cannot be fully understood) from Einstein's own annotations and commentaries, from his "strike-outs and rewrites, as well as from the explanations and accompanying commentaries provided by the author and other Einstein colleagues.

Although a bit pricey (the hard back is almost $300US dollars) for those only interested in SR the paperback (a tenth the price) is probably well word the price. I plan to buy the paperback too just to see if there are any differences. However, for Einstein lovers like myself, this book is the ultimate collectors item.100 stars

5-0 out of 5 stars A Unique Book
The formatting of this book - such that you can see the actual handwritten manuscript, gives a unique insight into the thought process of Einstein. I think that anyone with a bit of calculus and physics (vector calculus is a must) will gain something worthwhile from the paper as a whole and from the hand-written copy in particular. I haven't spent too much time learning relativity and as such this was a difficult read for me, but I think that it is a particularly interesting look into of of humanity's greatest minds.

5-0 out of 5 stars Einstein's notes
There are many beautiful elements fot hsi book:

1. The opening of the book has qotations of life observed from Einstein that have nothing to do with physics or math. They are priceless.

2. The layout is such that on the right --you have the actual notebook ledger in Einstein's handwriting. On the right, there is typed text, clearly defining what the text is.

The large layout of this book is done very well and is a treat to anyone who wants to see the details of this man's mind in action.

4-0 out of 5 stars A very nice gift
This book contains a facsimile of the hand written draft of the original relativity paper by Albert Einstein. The quality of the facsimile is great, and it is quite interesting to see the corrections made by A.E. to the draft.

The paper itself is surprisingly readable as the mathematical notation used is still very much current. Reading the paper requires first-year calculus and physics, so this book is definitely not for everybody.

The left side of the page contains a translation in English of the facsimile of the original in German, which appears on the right side of the page. ... Read more

15. Relativity: An Introduction to Special and General Relativity (Volume 0)
by Hans Stephani
Paperback: 420 Pages (2004-03-29)
list price: US$85.00 -- used & new: US$66.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521010691
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Thoroughly revised and updated, this self-contained textbook provides a pedagogical introduction to relativity. It covers the most important features of special as well as general relativity, and considers more difficult topics, such as charged pole-dipole particles, Petrov classification, groups of motions, gravitational lenses, exact solutions and the structure of infinity. The necessary mathematical tools are provided, most derivations are complete, and exercises are included where appropriate. The bibliography lists the original papers and also directs the reader to useful monographs and review papers. Previous Edition Hb(1990): 0-521-37066-3 Previous Edition Pb(1990): 0-521-37941-5 ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good general purpose book on GTR
I bought this because my copy of Misner Thorne & Wheeler was in a box 1400 miles away, and i wanted to toy around with some ideas in GTR.I needed a good text on GTR, not a watered-down no-math pop-level book, not a specialized research monograph omitting the basics, nota math formulas reference with no more content than an average cheat sheet, but something for those who already are familiar with GTR but lacking any of the usual academic works in their personal library. This book served my purpose perfectly.It comes with some bonuses - a better explanation of Petrov classification than i had seen anywhere else, more on electromagnetics and stress-energy tensors than i was shopping for, and conveniently sized to carry easily about town along with other stuff, something i can't say for the classic MT&W.

I imagine this would be an okay book for someone who doesn't knowGTR but has already studied special relativity and is comfortable with senior undergraduate level physics.GTR is by nature a mind-bending subject, and a total newbie may want to get a taste of the main ideas elsewhere.MT&W, in contrast, is full of illustrations, exercises, and other goodies that make it an excellent choice for GTR beginners.Wald's book on General Relativity is another good choice, but my copy of this too is 1400 miles away...

Good features of this book are that it does not loose the physics behind a forest of math, and that it touches on many important areas - gravitational waves, the Kerr metric, tensor maths, cosmology.None in too much depth - but enough to understand the key concepts and see how different areas of general relativity are related.The bibliography seems shortish but appears sufficient for further pursuits.Some areas not covered include alternatives to GTR, string theory, quantization of GTR. Spinors are mentionedbriefly; if one is interested in this important topic, Penrose & Rindler should be your destination.

There is no mention of the weak or strong energy conditions in the index.Perhaps these are mentioned somewhere, but the reader wanting to study this vital topic is better off with the book by Wald.

One area that could stand improvement are the exercises.There are exercised, but it would be nice to have more.A student relying on this book alone might end up feeling underexercised, wanting to pump more mental iron elsewhere.More numerical/quantitative exercises to give a feel for how much, how strong are special relativistic and GTR effects in everday and astrophysical applications, would be especially beneficial to this book's usefulness in an undergraduate course context.When used as a reference text, though, such exercises are not important; given my purpose, i am not disappointed. ... Read more

16. Relativity: The Special and General Theory
by Albert Einstein
Paperback: 192 Pages (2010-10-18)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 048641714X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Widely considered the greatest contribution to the philosophy of science, Einstein’s theory of relativity has often been viewed as comprehensible only to highly trained scientists. This book, however, contains the great physicist’s own explanation of both the special and the general theories, written for readers interested in the theory but not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics. Presenting the ideas in their simplest, most intelligible form, this three-part volume outlines the special theory, the general theory, and in a final part, offers considerations on the universe as whole.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars An augmented version of Einstein's book for a general audience
There are many versions of Einstein's book on relativity, written for a general audience.This book was written in 1916, in German and then translated into English.The book being reviewed here uses a 1920 edition, but it is far from being the newest one that Einstein wrote.The newest, the 15th edition, was written in 1952, and it is the most complete, as it contains several appendices that are not in earlier editions, as well as some corrections of errors that appeared in earlier editions.I have read both the 15th edition and this one, and if you want the best version of Einstein's text I would definitely get the 15th edition, as opposed to the one being reviewed here.However, the edition being reviewed here has been augmented with new material, and I think that this makes it a better choice than the 15th edition.

This book contains an interesting introduction by Roger Penrose, which provides some insights concerning Relativity Theory and the cosmological advances that have grown out of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.The book contains lengthy commentaries by Robert Geroch that clarify many of Einstein's chapters.Finally, there is an essay by David Cassidy on the "Cultural Legacy of Relativity Theory".In my opinion these additions more than make up for the appendices that are provided in the more complete 15th edition of Einstein's book.

I liked this book and recommend it over the 15th edition, but I cannot give it 5 stars.I found Einstein's prose to be typical of 19th century scientific prose, that is to say somewhat tedious and less than clear.This is especially true of the latter half of the book, which is devoted to the General Theory.To make matters worse, it was originally written in German and may have lost some clarity in the translation.There is a final chapter on cosmology that, because of the rapid advances in this field, make this section largely only of historical interest.

I recommend this book if you really want to read Einstein, albeit in translation, but there are better choices if you want an introduction to Relativity Theory.If you want a better introductory treatment of Relativity, I highly recommend Martin Gardners "Relativity Simply Explained" and if you want an introductory treatment with a little more scientific detail (but still without any math) I recommend Richard Wolfson's "Simply Einstein - Relativity Demystified".

1-0 out of 5 stars Something Important Is Missing.
This version does not have any diagrams, only refs to nonexistant GIF image files.
This is involved stuff here, a reader needs the illistrations.
Please explore the other versions even if they cost more.Without the formula images this is just about unreadable.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is a HORRIBLE Kindle Version
This was my first bad experience with the Kindle.Had I picked this book up at a store, I would've flipped through the pages and realized that it was poorly formated.There are carriage returns at all the wrong places, it's nearly impossible to read.I wish I'd paid a few bucks more and gotten one of the other versions.

If you're a kindle owner - go elsewhere.

1-0 out of 5 stars Harder than it needs to be
This Dodo Press edition is riddled with annoying typos -- even in some equations and variable names. In addition the section numbers referred to in the text are only found in the table of contents, making navigation cumbersome.

A classic like this deserves better. Look for another edition.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bah!
No, Einstein's Relativity IS amazingly brilliant and eloquent, I assure you of this. My review, although, is a buyer beware scenario. I ordered this exact copy of the text and the one that arrived had all sorts of horrendous typos. One? Two? No, more like...a ton. In an example of this, the 'aether' where the character 'ae' is a single one, somehow in the process of printing it, the character got repaced by a space and question mark! So when Einstein talks about the 'process by which the?ther happens...' or some such example, I translate it as 'bad' and not 'aether'.

By all means, buy Einstein's copy of Relativity, but please be cautious when ordering from this particular publisher. I'm unaware of whether or not this problem is widespread, but to those who get the one with the maddening typos riddled all over it, just bear through it and appreciate Einstein's eloquence and not the translator or publisher's, in my own personal opinion, bad spellchecking. ... Read more

17. Cosmological Special Relativity: The Large-Scale Structure of Space, Time and Velocity, Second Edition
by Moshe Carmeli
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2002-04)
list price: US$73.00 -- used & new: US$52.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9810249365
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This book presents Einstein's theory of space and time indetail, and describes the large-scale structure of space, time andvelocity as a new cosmological special relativity. A cosmologicalLorentz-like transformation, which relates events at different cosmictimes, is derived and applied. A new law of addition of cosmic timesis obtained, and the inflation of the space at the early universe isderived, both from the cosmological transformation. The relationshipbetween cosmic velocity, acceleration and distances is given. In theappendices gravitation is added in the form of a cosmological generalrelativity theory and a five-dimensional unified theory of space, timeand velocity. This book is of interest to cosmologists,astrophysicists, theoretical physicists, mathematical physicists andmathematicians. ... Read more

18. Space and Time in Special Relativity
by N. David Mermin
Paperback: 240 Pages (1989-01)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$32.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0881334200
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A classic of elementary relativistic pedagogy! This straight-forward book introduces readers to the conceptually tricky subject of relativityin understandable terms. The writing is crisp and clearly written by someonewho is aware of the conceptual difficulties that nonscientists have in coming togrips with relativity. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lucid for anybody
I remember reading this book right after high school.I had read Lincoln Barnett's book, which was good in laying out the concepts; however, Barnett's book left you feeling partially informed like most popular texts do.Mermin's book was different.He takes you through the mathematics and leaves you fully informed.When I first read Mermin's book, I recall worrying that the later chapters might be difficult.But, when I got to the last chapter, I found the pace of reading just as serene as the first chapter.I was delighted to have made it all the way through.David Bohm's book is a waste of time.Bohm indulged in publishing for profit and his authority in science is commercial, not professional.Bohm may have made some interesting speculations about gnosticism; however, gnosticism and modern physics are irreconcilable concepts.There are plenty of used copies of the older edition that cost less than a buck.The later edition doesn't add anything new.My only negative criticism is Mermin's association of special relativity with Einstein, who had nothing to do with it.In fact, if you look at Einstein's papers, his mathematics is entirely wrong and anti-thetical to special relativity theory.For example, he has a habit of dividing by zero when he doesn't know how to obtain a result.He neglects to put a subscript "zero" under "e" for e=mcsquared.This latter mistake gives rise to an entirely different theory that he claims to be making.It also shows plagarism from Olinto De Pretto who later corrected this mistake.De Pretto formulated this equation years before Einstein's paper came to print.The only reason I can gather for maintaining Einstein's authorship of this famous equation is the myth of juwish genius.The German superman has been replaced by the weak backed, wild haired, shifty eyed juwish superman.Mermin is a great expositor but a lousey historian.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic
For anyone who wants to understand special relativity, even those who may not be particularly adept at physics or higher math, this is the book.I spent months searching for a clear resolution of the "twin paradox" (aka, "clock paradox") without success.This is the *only* book I've ever found that accomplishes it, no other physics text I could find (and I examined 23 of them at the UCSD S&E library) provided a comprehensible explanation.

This is nothing short of a spectacular piece of work.There is no way to go wrong with this book if you have any interest in the topic at all.I'm confident that even well-experienced professional physicists could find a good many new and useful insights in it.And the best part is, this book is easily accessible by practically anyone having even entry level scientific awareness.It's a genuine classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unquestionably the best intro to Special Relativity I've read
And that includes Epstein's "Relativity Visualized" and Wolfson's "Simply Einstein".My impression is that Mermin is truly intelligent and a good teacher.I found some of the other books talked down to me or spent time explaining how Michelson (or was it Morley) was abused as a child instead of sticking to the subject.I intend to buy Mermin's other book on the subject "It's About Time".

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a reasonably technical mind and wants to get a firm grasp on this subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars also good for "specialists"-to-be too
I'm writing this review based on my impressions of this book when I read it 9 years ago as an undergraduate physics major at Berkeley.We used it in an honors sophmore-level physics class for physics majors.I'm know a physics grad-student at UCSB. I want to dissavow the impression you might have that this is just a light-weight, pop-science book.This book is very axiomatic and it really tries to "prove" relativity to the reader.The beginning chapters will motivate the postulates of special relativity (eg: "the speed of light is the same in all reference-frames"), and you will learn how to DERIVE the Lorentz transformations from them. (...which is the major thrust of the book.On a side note: topics like why E=mc^2 aren't discussed until the end.)This is why we used it in our class.The students taking the regular Berkeley physics class only memorized the Lorentz transformations and plugged them in blindly.I felt we learned a great deal more than they did. I think this book is billed as a descriptive introduction to relativity for non-specialists because it's clear and easy to read (although perhaps a bit verbose), and because doesn't use any fancy math, just basic geometry (right-triangles, the pythagorean theorem).This doesn't mean it should be shuned by specialists-to-be.This was my first introduction to relativity and at the time, I felt completely satisfied with my understanding of the material after reading it.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Essential Guide to Modern Physics
This book was astounding. I had my share of knowledge in physics: Newtonian Mechanics, Electrodynamics and Magnetism, Optics, etc. This book took my preconceived ideas of how the Universe worked and all but threwthem out the window.

Mermin's description of why the old physical modelis inadequate was very descriptive and informative - even for someone witha highschool physics background. Numerous examples and analogies bring tounderstanding many difficult and abstract concepts. As for the skeptic . .. well, he deals with them in the later part of the book (I was one ofthem).

This book reads like a Science Fiction novel. Yet the topicspresented could not be more real.

We have Einstein to thank for thePrinciples and Theories of Special Relativity, and Mermin to thank forcommunicating them to the general population.

I recommend this book toeverybody; physicist or not. You cannot fool youself into thinking you havean understanding of the universe until you read and comprehend the topicscovered in this book.

Enjoy! ... Read more

19. Works of Albert Einstein: On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, Relativity: The Special and General Theory, Sidelights on Relativity, Dialog about Objections ... the Theory of Relativity & more (mobi)
by Albert Einstein
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-12-15)
list price: US$4.99
Asin: B0030Y5CO2
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This collection was designed for optimal navigation on Kindle and other electronic devices. All books included in this collection feature a hyperlinked table of contents and footnotes. The collection is complimented by an author biography.

Table of Contents:

Albert Einstein Biography

On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies (1905) Translated by Megh Nad Saha
Dialog about Objections against the Theory of Relativity (1918)
Relativity: The Special and General Theory (1920) Translated by Robert W. Lawson
Russell-Einstein Manifesto
Sidelights on Relativity
Letters to Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Einstein Theory of Relativity, A Concise Statement by Prof. H.A. Lorentz of the University of Leyden

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The worlds greatest mind
Works of Albert Einstein: On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, Relativity: The Special and General Theory, Sidelights on Relativity, Dialog about Objections ... & more. Published by MobileReference (mobi)

For the dedicated reader, for whom learning is a mission, and who has learned his high school Math and Physics, this is an excellent ebook. It gives the dedicated and prepared reader the chance to interact with one of the greatest minds of all time. ... Read more

20. Introduction to Special Relativity
by Robert Resnick
Paperback: 248 Pages (1968-01-15)
-- used & new: US$56.99
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Asin: 0471717258
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Introduction to Special Relativity By Robert Resnick, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute This book gives an excellent introduction to the theory of special relativity.Professor Resnick presents a fundamental and unified development of the subject with unusually clear discussions of the aspects that usually trouble beginners.He includes,for example, a section on the common sense of relativity.His presentation is lively and interspersed with historical, philosophical and special topics (such as the twin paradox) that will arouse and hold the reader's interest. You'll find many unique features that help you grasp the material, such as worked-out examples,summary tables,thought questions and a wealth of excellent problems.The emphasis throughout the book is physical.The experimental background, experimental confirmation of predictions, and the physical interpretation of principles are stressed.The book treats relativistic kinematics, relativistic dynamics,and relativity and electromagnetism and contains special appendices on the geometric representation of space-time and on general relativity.Its organization permits an instructor to vary the length and depth of his treatment and to use the book either with or following classical physics.These features make it an ideal companion for introductory courses. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear and thorough introduction
I used this book as an undergrad many years ago in honors first-year physics (along with Purcell's excellent E&M book from the Berkeley Physics Series), and have referred to it from time to time since.It's a clear, patient, matter-of-fact introduction to the subject which takes the time to clarify many of the obscure and seemingly contradictory aspects of special relativity.It's written about at the level of the famous Halliday and Resnick university physics books.I found the book to be very useful as an introduction.If you already know the subject, and need an advanced reference, this will be too basic, but as the title says, it's an "Introduction". ... Read more

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