100 years ago, Einstein's theory of relativity shattered the world of physics. Our comforting Newtonian ideas of space and time were replaced by bizarre and counterintuitive conclusions: if you move at high speed, time slows down, space squashes up and you get heavier; travel fast enough and you could weigh as much as a jumbo jet, be squashed thinner than a CD without feeling a thing - and live for ever. And that was just the Special Theory. With the General Theory came even stranger ideas of curved space-time, and changed our understanding of gravity and the cosmos. This authoritative and entertaining Very Short Introduction makes the theory of relativity accessible and understandable. Using very little mathematics, Russell Stannard explains the important concepts of relativity, from E=mc2 to black holes, and explores the theory's impact on science and on our understanding of the universe. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Russell Stannard is a prolific author of award-winning books for children and for adults. His Uncle Albert books have been translated into 20 languages, and one of them, 'Uncle Albert and the Quantum Quest' was for a time the Number 1 UK paperback bestseller.
For his work in making science accessible to children and to the public in general, he was awarded an OBE by The Queen, and has received the Bragg Medal of the Institute of Physics.
He was involved in setting up the UK's Open University (the UK's largest university with over 250,000 students) where he headed the Department of Physics and Astronomy for 21 years.
His research field was high energy physics, which he conducted at the CERN laboratory in Geneva and in major US laboratories.
Besides his scientific work, he is a licensed lay minister in the Anglican Church, and a Member of the Center for Theological Inquiry at Princeton, USA. Several of his books address the question as to how to reconcile science and religion.
He is also a sculptor in his spare time, his work in this area being the subject of a BBC TV documentary.
He has 16 grandchildren, and one great grandchild - so far.