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Einstein's 1912 Manuscript on the Special Theory of Relativity: A Facsimile Hardcover – Mar 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: George Braziller Inc; Slp edition (Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807614173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807614174
  • Product Dimensions: 40.4 x 26.4 x 2.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,450,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A very nice gift 18 Dec. 2000
By Alex Lopez-Ortiz - Published on
Format: Hardcover
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Einstein's notes 6 Mar. 2005
By William D. Tompkins - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Unique Book 27 April 2008
By Ian A. Schultz - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Centenary Tribute to Einstein and his Special Theory of Relavitity 29 Jan. 2010
By Herbert L Calhoun - Published on
Format: Paperback
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
Einstein's 1912 Manuscript on the Special Theory of Relativity 27 Sept. 2011
By us_xunil - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I saw this manuscript in a book store a few years ago and found it very interesting, but also very expensive.

Recently I searched Amazon for the manuscript and found someone selling it
for a decent price, new, in the original shrink wrap.

This manuscript contains Einstein's original text and equations in German
on the right page with an English translation on the right page. It is really
a collectors item.
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