Chris's Reviews > Relativity: The Special and the General Theory

Relativity by Albert Einstein
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's review
Aug 12, 11

bookshelves: science
Recommended for: curious non-physicists
Read from July 23 to August 31, 2010 — I own a copy

I was intimidated by this book when I bought it. After all, it's written by Einstein himself. It must be a mile over my head, so I thought. However, this book turned out to be very readable. Einstein's goal in this book was to develop his special and general theories of relativity for non-physicists. He develops each theory by breaking the concepts into many small nuggets: 2 - 10 page chapters. He begins with Newtonian theory and explains its apparent shortcomings and then uses simple scenarios to illustrate his insights into relativity.
I enjoyed the book and thought it to be very much down-to-earth, knowing this was the most recognized genius of our time. I only wish he had made more of an effort to include the mathematical development of his theories. He restricts himself to using equations occasionally, and completely omits his equations for general relativity. I suppose I understand this decision, as these equations (called Einstein's Field Equations, or EFE) are very difficult and probably deserve several college courses to comprehend. He does do a good job at deriving the equations for special relativity, so all-in-all, it meets about 90% of what I would have liked to see. I would definitely recommend it to the curious non-physicists like me.

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07/23/2010 page 6

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