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Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time

(Great Discoveries)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  2,984 ratings  ·  283 reviews
There's no better short book that explains just what Einstein did than Einstein's Cosmos. Keying Einstein's crucial discoveries to the simple mental images that inspired them, Michio Kaku finds a revealing new way to discuss his ideas, and delivers an appealing and always accessible introduction to Einstein's work.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 17th 2005 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 2004)
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4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,984 ratings  ·  283 reviews


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brian
Aug 18, 2012 rated it liked it
all this quantum mechanics and relativity stuff being so incredibly counter-intuitive, language seems even more of a barrier than usual; it's tough to properly tease out if much of what's written is meant to be metaphorical, epistemological, or just plain hard-up muthafuckin' (relative... of course) truth. or maybe some kind of hybrid? so, while kaku does an admirable job of simplifying some of einstein's more abstruse mindfucks, there're other aspects that send a bug straight up my ass.
i.e. re
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TS Chan
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever wondered why Albert Einstein remains as a legend in the field of physics well over a century after he discovered the general theory of relativity? The quote below from the author sums it up:

All physical knowledge at the fundamental level is contained in two pillars of physics, general relativity and the quantum theory. Einstein was the founder of the first, the godfather of the second and paved the way for the possible unification of both.

I chose Einstein's Cosmos as my first Michio Kaku
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Karl-O
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kaku emphasizes a point throughout this book that really makes you think in a new light about physics. He says that Einstein always believed that the theories he's been working on (and obviously the ones he is famous for their discovery, namely special and general relativity) can always be understood in terms of simple thought experiments or pictures. It is not difficult to see where this led Einstein, who spent the last years of his life trying to achieve unification between relativity and quan ...more
Anastasia Alén
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Highly interesting book about the greatest mind of the twentieth century. I suppose everyone has an image about Einstein in their heads. That he's a bit of a mad scientist with that wild, white hair...but that image is not the whole truth.

I love how this book describes Einstein's personal life, relationships, politics and of course his work. I'm not a mathematician or physicist so I liked how Kaku manages to keep astrophysics and quantum mechanics both interesting and simple enough for everyone
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Mike
May 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Although I’ve read many other accounts of Einstein’s life and his contributions to physics, I wanted to see how physicist Michio Kaku wrote about him. This book is not an exhaustive biography; instead it is a “popular” book that attempts to give the casual reader a glimpse into the man who stood as tall as Isaac Newton. (For an excellent example of the other style, I recommend “Einstein: His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson.)

While not ignoring his early life or his marriages, the author use
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Gary Baker
Jan 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, it's taken me this long to get round to reading it. I bought it as cheap, damaged stock around 2005. Yesterday I slid it off the shelf, blew off the dust and started reading. I finished it a few minutes ago.

The blurb on the back says, "You don't have to be Einstein to understand Einstein." And that is spot on. A wonderful read giving easy access to Einstein's science. We start with him trying to understand a light beam by imagining himself running along side it, and end with his unfinished
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Jennifer
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, 2019, non-fiction
Modern physics is based on two theories: the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Albert Einstein is the founder of the first and the grandfather of second. He was so ahead of his time that some of his theories have only just recently being proven.

In Einstein’s Cosmos, Michio Kaku explores Einstein’s contributions to science and briefly discusses the physicists of the early twentieth century. Kaku provides a high-level overview of Einstein’s life, but it’s by no means a biography.

Kaku’s
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Thomas Dodds
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Second biography I ever read and By far the best most informative book I ever read.
You have Isaac Newton of the late 1600’s is well known as one of the greatest scientists who ever lived who discovered gravity. Less well known is his deep belief in God and his conviction that scientific investigation leads to a greater knowledge of God the Creator of the universe. He developed his theory of universal gravitation, which used what is known as the inverse square law. He developed his three laws of
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Banner
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Ok yea I know the pop icon, crazy scientist, Einstein, but I have never gotten a glimpse of the man himself until now. This can only be called an introduction at best, but it is quite good. It seems most great men are not born that way, but must rise above societies norms and dare to look at the world differently. It also seems, this is not without cost.

In addition to learning about the man I developed a greater understanding and appreciation of the science he produced. Truly revolutionary. An e
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Vasco
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The bad: nothing special.

The good: a "kind of biography" written from a point of view not of an historian but an expert in the subject matter of the person is interesting as it's a complement to the "official" biographies which revolve around life details and minutiae. In this sense, Kaku's book is a very interesting tie-in to other books I've previously read on Wheeler, Feynman and others, complementing them with not only the publicly known content of Einstein's theories, but also the backgroun
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Mohamed Salah Suliman
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent overview of the political and social impacts on the evolution of physics and on Einstein as well as his impact on the world during the stages of his life. A solid professional biography of Einstein. A good intro, if you're trying to learn more about his work. A pleasant and quick read if you already know something about it.
Max
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physics
On the cover is a quote from Popular Science,”Kaku enables the reader to see and think as Einstein did.” I wish! That would be an accomplishment greater than Einstein’s. As Kaku recounts Einstein’s major discoveries, two things stand out to me. The first is the incredible magnitude of his lifetime achievement. The second is Einstein’s unique intuitive approach beginning with mental pictures of his theories then finding the supporting mathematics. One can only marvel at a mind that could pull suc ...more
Peter
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot. Explained things directly and simply. Also, a great overview to the latest issues in physics - 'sparticles' for one!
Mike Lewis
Apr 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Just finished the book Einstein’s Cosmos, which is a good look into the life of the genius physicist Albert Einstein.

The book has lots of interesting facts about Einstein such as:
- He was born in Germany but he had such a bad experience in his youth, he renounced his citizenship when he was 17
- He was always brilliant. There’s a myth that he wasn’t that smart when he was young (and a whole Kaplan advertising campaign). This is 100% wrong. He read a Geometry book when he was 12 and LOVED it. A
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Lis Carey
Einstein was probably the greatest mind of the twentieth century, revolutionized physics, and his work is still producing new breakthroughs today. Michio Kaku recounts both his scientific contributions and something of his personal life in a completely engaging, entertaining way.

While Einstein was late in starting to talk, it's not true that he was a poor student in school. What he was, was a stubborn student. He had no interest in rote learning, which was the accepted pedagogic technique in Ger
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Gendou
Oct 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Let me be honest. I wanted to hate this book. I hate Michio Kaku. He's a shameless attention-seeker. His other books were garbage not fit for toilet paper.

Somehow, he managed not to disgrace Einstein's good name, all that much. His prose is still full of self-aggrandizement. He emphasizes the mystery of the scientific details instead of doing his job and EXPLAINING THEM! But only a little. Much less than in his other books.

Pompous ass that he is, he claims that, aside from String Theory, "all ot
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Frank
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow! Never before have I really began to comprehend the impact that the life of Albert Einstein had on our world. Dr Kaku does this in a way that brings Einstein's complex theories and formulas to a level I could ALMOST grasp. Dr Kaku paints an amazing picture of not only Einstein but also the world of mathematics and physics, not to mention politics, that he both shaped and was shaped by. I'm nothing less than in awe of the impact Einstein made then and still makes today. Amazing and inspiring. ...more
Sophie
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Just finished reading. Loved it. Very well written, as always.. then again, I have not picked up any of Michio's books and NOT liked them. Wish List: to meet & perhaps have lunch with Michio Kaku.(Providing it was okay with his wife :-).
Seriously, When I was in school, I did not do well in higher maths, although that could reflect on the teachers.
When I watch Michio on TV, he is engaging and entertaining and thought provoking. When you read Michio, it is the same. He has an appeal that rea
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Christy
May 24, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a book that I never would have chosen on my own, but my friend insisted that I read it. She is a lot smarter than me so it was easy for her to understand, but I have to admit that it was kind of interesting to read not only about Einstein's theories but also about his personal life. I actually struggled to get through some of it but I am glad that I read it. It has made me want to learn about physic's.
Ayegou aissam
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physics
i alwyas had this special love and respect for the role model Einstein, the man who saw univers through beauty and imagination, michio kaku led a great journey with the amazing physic's inventions in the era of the greats in the 1900s, and the legacy of einstein who was the father of the great theory, general relativity, and the godfather of the quantum theory and the prophet of the theory of unification known now as string theory ..
Kris
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
A fairly quick read, despite the content. Kaku has the tendency of being a little over dramatic, talking about the face of God and whatnot, but it's still a good read about Einstein's work. I picked this up randomly in the library one day because it looked short and interesting. It's full of names and physics vocab that I can only just barely grasp, but Kaku offers enough simple picture-like explanations to get you through it.
Simon
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! If you've ever asked yourself: "what exactly did Einstein DO?" This book nails it. Four things:

1. Light is a constant (not time)- special relativity
2. E=MC2 - energey from any object
3. Gravity isn't really gravity but space-time. Gravity doesn't pull us. Space-time pushes us.
4. Unified Field Theory - which he never really solved. But superstring theory might do this.

Awesome book. Well written.
Jaimit Doshi
Mar 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
quite a decent book on Einstein and his thoeries. Helped me reinforce the value of simplicity in profound thought. Sometimes it did get a bit dense but it woudl reward the reader if he sticks through it. it makes great sens eto read this along with "e=mc2 - the biography of an equation" and the "dead famous - einstien".
I am still feeling a little warped from reading all that physics.
Benjamin Bryan
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written and easy to read and understand. A great introduction to the personal life of Einstein, his scientific achievements, and their subsequent impact on the world of science and technology (and philosophy).
Bruce
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, it made me remember how much I've missed reading a good book.

It was very well written, and easy to understand. I liked learning so much more about Einstein that I hadn't heard about before.
Candy Sparks
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: this-one
Thanks to this book I was excited to see the 5th dimension in a movie I just watched. I was so excited I was shaking my little hands. WONDERFUL!
Olivia
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great blend of history and physics - brings the man back to life. Also thoroughly demonstrated to me a) what I don't know about physics and b) what none of us know yet about physics. Very thrilling!
Aravind Deivendran
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Brilliant book to give a sneak peak on Theory of Relativity and history around it.
Capt. Moe
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Einstein’s Cosmos” by Michio Kaku is all you need to get to know Einstein, his theories, his personal life, his tremendous thought experiments and a lot more about his life.
I honestly do not know where to start, Albert Einstein was an exceptionally intelligent person with exceptional skills, he was a special genius. He revolutionised modern physics and was one of the founders of “Quantum Physics”. He discovered that light wasn’t waves (as scientists assumed), and proved that light travels in v
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Kristen Coffin
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel-space
"When a physicist talks about “beauty and elegance” in physics, what he or she really means is that symmetry allows one to unify a large number of diverse phenomena and concepts into a remarkably compact form."

A slow read for me, but I expected that, because I'm not a physicist. But if you ca persevere over the scientific language and jargon (even though Kaku is one of my favorite physicists to read because he has a way of putting things in layman terms - it' still physics, there's only so far y
...more
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(Arabic: ميشيو كاكو
Russian: Митио Каку
Chinese: 加來道雄
Japanese: ミチオ・カク)


Dr. Michio Kaku is an American theoretical physicist at the City College of New York , best-selling author, a futurist, and a communicator and popularizer of science. He has written several books about physics and related topics of science.

He has written two New York Times Best Sellers, Physics of the Impossible (2008) and Physic
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“PREFACE A New Look at the Legacy of Albert Einstein Genius. Absent-minded professor. The father of relativity. The mythical figure of Albert Einstein—hair flaming in the wind, sockless, wearing an oversized sweatshirt, puffing on his pipe, oblivious to his surroundings—is etched indelibly on our minds. “A pop icon on a par with Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, he stares enigmatically from postcards, magazine covers, T-shirts, and larger-than-life posters. A Beverly Hills agent markets his image for television commercials. He would have hated it all,” writes biographer Denis Brian. Einstein is among the greatest scientists of all time, a towering figure who ranks alongside Isaac Newton for his contributions. Not surprisingly, Time magazine voted him the Person of the Century. Many historians have placed him among the hundred most influential people of the last thousand years.” 3 likes
“In Einstein's equation, time is a river. It speeds up, meanders, and slows down. The new wrinkle is it can have whirlpools and fork into two rivers. So, if the river of time can be bent into a pretzel, create whirlpools and fork into two rivers, then time travel cannot be ruled out.” 3 likes
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