Relativity: The Special and the General Theory by Albert EinsteinAn accesible version of Einsteins masterpiece of theory, written by the genius himself
According to Einstein himself, this book is intended to give an exact insight into the theory of Relativity to those readers who, from a general scientific and philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics. When he wrote the book in 1916, Einsteins name was scarcely known outside the physics institutes. Having just completed his masterpiece, The General Theory of Relativity—which provided a brand-new theory of gravity and promised a new perspective on the cosmos as a whole—he set out at once to share his excitement with as wide a public as possible in this popular and accessible book.
Here published for the first time as a Penguin Classic, this edition of Relativity features a new introduction by bestselling science author Nigel Calder.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
What is relativity?
How Einstein moved from his special theory of relativity to general relativity a decade later, via a brainwave he had at his day job. Read more. What happens when extreme gravity pierces the fabric of space-time? The big unsolved problem of modern physics is reconciling its two pillars: general relativity and quantum mechanics. Quantum gravity would unite them.
The theory of relativity usually encompasses two interrelated theories by Albert Einstein : special relativity and general relativity. General relativity explains the law of gravitation and its relation to other forces of nature. The theory transformed theoretical physics and astronomy during the 20th century, superseding a year-old theory of mechanics created primarily by Isaac Newton. In the field of physics, relativity improved the science of elementary particles and their fundamental interactions, along with ushering in the nuclear age. With relativity, cosmology and astrophysics predicted extraordinary astronomical phenomena such as neutron stars , black holes , and gravitational waves. Albert Einstein published the theory of special relativity in , building on many theoretical results and empirical findings obtained by Albert A.
Along with quantum theory , relativity is one of the two main planks on which almost the whole of modern physics is built. The idea of relativity had been studied almost three centuries earlier by Galileo, when he stated the principle of relativity in that the fundamental laws of physics are the same for all bodies in uniform motion. Later in the 17th Century, Sir Isaac Newton also took the principle of relativity for granted, asserting that if his famous laws of motion held in one inertial frame , then they also held in a reference frame moving at a constant velocity relative to the first frame. His ground-breaking theories take into account the speed of light , the structure of space-time and the equivalence of acceleration and gravity. Einstein 's theories still hold up well today, after exhaustive experimentation and testing, and have been described as the single most important contribution by one man to science.
In , Albert Einstein determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and that the speed of light in a vacuum was independent of the motion of all observers. This was the theory of special relativity. It introduced a new framework for all of physics and proposed new concepts of space and time. Einstein then spent 10 years trying to include acceleration in the theory and published his theory of general relativity in In it, he determined that massive objects cause a distortion in space-time, which is felt as gravity. Two objects exert a force of attraction on one another known as "gravity. The force tugging between two bodies depends on how massive each one is and how far apart the two lie.