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Relativity: The Special and the General Theory [Paperback]

Albert Einstein
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
Price: £4.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

1 Dec 2010
2010 Reprint of 1920 First English Edition. First English translation of Einstein's theory of relativity. In this work Einstein intended, as far as possible, to give an exact insight into the theory of Relativity to those readers who, from a general and scientific philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics. The theory of relativity enriched physics and astronomy during the 20th century. When first published, relativity superseded a 200-year-old theory of mechanics elucidated by Isaac Newton. It changed perceptions. For example, it overturned the concept of motion from Newton's day, into all motion is relative. Time was no longer uniform and absolute, as related to everyday experience. Furthermore, no longer could physics be understood as space by itself, and time by itself. Instead, an added dimension had to be taken into account with curved space-time. Time now depended on velocity, and contraction became a fundamental consequence at appropriate speeds.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Martino Fine Books; Tra edition (1 Dec 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891396307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891396304
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"He was unfathomably profound - the genius among geniuses who discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed."-"Time --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

'He was unfathomably profound - the genius among geniuses who discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed.' - Time

'Time' magazine's 'Man of the Century', Albert Einstein is the unquestioned founder of modern physics. His theory of relativity is the most important scientific idea of the modern era. In this short book Einstein explains, using the minimum of mathematical terms, the basic ideas and principles of the theory which has shaped the world we live in today. Unsurpassed by any subsequent books on relativity, this remains the most popular and useful exposition of Einstein's immense contribution to human knowledge.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955). Born in Switzerland, died in the USA. Brilliant physicist who received the Nobel Prize in 1921, the same year he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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In your schooldays most of you who read this book made acquaintance with the noble building of Euclid's geometry, and you remember-perhaps with more respect than love-the magnificent structure, on the lofty staircase of which you were chased about for uncounted hours by conscientious teachers. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
This book is excellent, as for for the first time on any book I've read on the subject, it has lots of mathematics, BUT NO ROCKET SCIENCE! As a result, its an excellent read for someone who's done say A-level maths at school. It is unique as most books I've looked at are either for the complete mathematical layman with very few equations, e.g. Einsteins Universe by Nigel Calder, or are the sort geared towards mekon-headed NASA engineers with IQ's of 200... The discussion on General relativity is very sparse, with only the basic ideas outlined, but the reasoning behind special relativity is beautifully described, and for the first time out of any book I've erad on the subject I feel that I have started to understand it. The book also has an appendix with mathematical 'work-throughs' as to how the equations came about, which is very nice but unfortunately a small number of steps are left out which is annoying. The book is brief, but will inspire you to dig out and read more on the subject from different authors. And lastly, let's be honest here, this book is VERY inexpensive so one can hardly grumble at it's brevity. My advice: if you didn't understand this book, just read and re-read the initial chapters on the Lorentz transformation, which is the basic idea behind it all, and the penny will finally drop!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Book - Appallingly presented 21 Jun 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fascinating if dated book but I couldn't really enjoy it due to the appalling layout, proofing and typography. When you are unsure of the ideas being presented and there are two blatant typo's in the first paragraph you are left uncertain as to whether it is you or just another error. I have come across over a dozen errors already including at one stage incorrectly spelling a chapter title.

Its a real shame and I would love to know how this book ever got out of the printers in this condition.

Just to show how badly this has been produced the publishers even got their own web address wrong on the back cover
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mastermind at work 20 Jun 1999
By A Customer
The reviewer of April 13 from Moscow, Idaho says this is not the book to read unless you already understand the theory. Maybe fair enough. It was written when Einstein had achieved youthful fame, though, not in his dotage, if he had such a thing. It may be a little more difficult for the translation, but not much. Contrary to some reviewers, it is not that easy to follow, and if it seems like an easy read, you probably haven't understood it. There are many books written since where it is probably easier to learn about special relativity, to say nothing of the basic ideas of general relativity. But once you have started to get the hang of things, this book is a masterpiece of exposition! It allows one to follow Einstein's actual thought process in arriving at these theories -- pretty much by a process of pure thought -- more or less in the steps he probably took himself. There is not a word in the exposition that was not carefully thought out. So, learn the theory somewhere else and then read this book -- you'll understand the theory better for reading Einstein's book -- or read this book first, keep going back to it 'til it starts to make sense, and maybe consult some other, more "user-friendly" textbook at the same time. Einstein claims his book allows a lay reader with only high school math to understand relativity. To which a friend of mine replied "Yeah, if you have an IQ of 800". To which I say, have patience, keep thinking about it and going back to it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely terrible, unreadable. 8 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I know I should probably do more research into a product before buying it, but given the low entry price I didn't think twice about buying Einstein's Relativity for £3. DON'T buy this crap, seriously, it's been dreadfully edited by OCR (w/e the hell that is), making it unreadable. The first few chapters may lull you into a false sense of security, sure, there might be a missing diagram or two, but initially that doesn't detract too much from the book. Once the mathematics kicks-in though, you have literally no chance of comprehending any of the equations, they've virtually all been misprinted because apparently the Optical Character Recognition software used to create this book doesn't understand √ signs or anything of that nature.

It might not matter for Orwell's 1984 or for Swift's Gulliver's Travels, but for Einstein's Relativity, typos do matter, and I urge whoever makes these dirt cheap books to take Relativity off of their publications list because it is simply unreadable.

"We have recreated this book from the original using Optical Character Recognition software to keep the cost of the book as low as possible. Therefore, could you please forgive spelling mistakes, missing or extraneous characters that may have resulted from smudged or torn pages?"

No, the number of printing mistakes is unforgivable, it's like the person who was tasked with typing it up used a broken keyboard with half of the keys missing. DO NOT buy the dirt cheap copy of this book, it's littered with mistakes, and virtually all of the mathematics is botched. The publishers should either sack their editor or be shut down for unethical practice, because there's no way this book ever have reached (virtual) book shelves.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Everyone should know this stuff.
Published 5 days ago by John B
4.0 out of 5 stars its been a long time since I read anything like this but Einstein...
its been a long time since I read anything like this but Einstein explains this theory very clearly. The book was in good condition and arrived quickly.
Published 6 days ago by mandy
2.0 out of 5 stars typographical errors make it unreadable
The original translation has been scanned and character recognition software has been used to print this edition. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
one for light summer reading
Published 3 months ago by sally
3.0 out of 5 stars Go look!
I am fortunate in having a Folio copy of the original book, so can check up,if I have a doubt. I purchased the Kindle version for ease when travelling. Read more
Published 3 months ago by C. D. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Mind boggling!
Well, I admit defeat once again. This stuff is too much for my poor brain! There were instances where I could say, `oh yes` or `ah I see` but they were few. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Herr Holz Paul
2.0 out of 5 stars Eienstien
Good book for the money. Shame about the typos. There is a & instead of a Ko for body of reference in formula and some other algerbetic errors.
Published 10 months ago by paly
4.0 out of 5 stars A master teaching
In this book, Albert Einstein exposes us his theory. The theory of relativity. The book is cut in tiny chapters focused on one concept of the theory. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Eric le rouge
1.0 out of 5 stars Damaged
This book arrived and it was damaged. The pages were warped and I was very disappointed in the quality and it was a gift. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Lily Manners
5.0 out of 5 stars Still trying to understand it !
Excellent book with a lot of useful explanation, that's why I've given it five stars.

The mathematics is a bit more problematic, but that's down to me, not the book.
Published 13 months ago by kevin doyle
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