What Is Relativity?: An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein's Ideas, and Why They Matter
"What is Relativity?" or "How Modern Physics showed that Black Holes Don't Suck" by Jeffrey Bennett
It’s confirmed. Black holes don’t suck…
I always say that TV is the devil's and god's work at the same time. On the plus-side, the TV has probably provided the biggest push toward making science books more appealing, at least to the eye. It has created a graphic-oriented society, and the persons of today have never known any other kind. Al ...more
Jeffrey Bennett's handy resource is probably the best primer on Einsteinian relativity on the market today. Far more lucid than your average physics textbook, Bennett runs through a slew of accessible thought experiments that are easy to commit to memory. While quick to emphasize that each of the ideas discussed ...more
There's no math here at all. It begins with a couple of assumptions (e.g.: everyone records the same ...more
Bennett’s tone makes the book approachable. He uses humor well and writes in a way that minimizes the daunting ...more
The actual theory of relativity is not so hard to understand after the author explained it. But ...more
This book has whetted my appetite to learn more about relativity, spacetime, and quantum mechanics.
Even though relativity is a topic I’ve been interested in since high school, I learned fascinating new facts from this book. The author made incredibly complex and counterintuitive concepts ...more
What is Relativity? by Jeffrey Bennett is a nonfiction book that describes Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in a simple way. It goes over the main ideas of relativity and uses thought experiments to help readers understand them.
The main ideas of the book are that the laws of nature are the same for everyone, the speed of light is the same for everyone, and that space and time can be different depending on the situation, but spacetime is the same for everyone. So, nature acts the same for everyon...more
People have attempted to explain relativity to me before. All I knew is that it allows for time travel and has to do with gravity and black holes. This book took me infinitely deeper than that. Although I do have some questions that I ...more
So now seems like a perfect time to dip into some great science writing. Jeffrey Bennett’s What is Relativity? is certainly one of the best nonfiction book ...more
The book is easy to read. There are no hard mathematical equations in it.
It has a lot of nice thought experiments in them that you might want to try yourself.
I was immediately taken by the chance to interpret my understanding of the theory of relativity to apply it to human nature. We live in nature, and obey the laws of nature. It would be very obvious that our psyches are effected by those laws in a way that mirrors those laws.
What Is Relativity? is extremely well written. The concepts are clearly explained, and there is frequent movement back and forth between abstract ideas and concrete examples. The overall structure of the book is well organized and logi ...more
Jeffrey Bennett is no Brian Greene, but then again his own method of explaining basic physic principals seems to weave its way into its own set of followers. What is Relativity? Special Relativity? Why is it important for scientists that Einstein created Relativity, and what can it be used for? These are a few of the questions that Mr Bennett covers in his brief book of a mere 192 pages.
This concise book in ...more
For a long time I've wanted to learn about relativity. When I took an astrophysics class in university, it was discussed a little bit--but was mostly glossed over in favor of topics considered more essential. So, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this title from Columbia University Press.
Bennett takes a topic that is considered by many to be too advanced to understand--and makes it accessible t ...more
Unfortunately, there were many of those almost right but not totally correct statements, probably stated that way to not overly annoy those ...more
There was a lot of math in this book. Instead of just writing out what you'd do, or giving a rough idea of the equations used to come up with justification, the author writes out and solves the exact equation. This bogged down the book fo ...more
* page 29 "asking how you can go faster than light is somewhat like asking how you can walk north from the North Pole." Perfect. It's not an exact analogy, but it's indeed "somewhat" similar to this conceptual thing that anyone can understand.
* same page: Pausing to h ...more
The only issue I had with the book is the fact that it sometimes breezed ove ...more
Jeffrey Bennett did an excellent job explaining this subject, but also making me feel like I should care. I knew basically nothing about relativity other than it existed, Einstein did it, and that it seemed hard. I did not realize at all how much it explains including gravity and space.
This book was really easy to read, entertaining thought experiments with a sense of humor kept my attention throughout. The pictures and diagrams ...more
The book is written at such a level that a person with some technical background or without it can grasp the main ideas. I have some technical background (very basic though); and I found the book easy to read, understand the main concepts even though following every single idea is difficult but because of the topic and not the author.
The best of the book is the discussion of the implications of the general relativity theory. The author ...more