Relativity: The Special and General Theory 
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Review: Relativity: The Special and the General Theory
User Review  Josh Smith  GoodreadsSome parts of this book were easier than others to read  some were a breeze and were understandable for me, and others were complete hell. I got through it, though, and I came away with somewhat of ... Read full review
Review: Relativity: The Special and the General Theory
User Review  Hrishabh Chaudhary  GoodreadsIt is a truth universally acknowledged, that The Theory of Relativity is demanding and it is needless to say that you need to read it more than once. While there is a plethora of books on relativity ... Read full review
Common terms and phrases
accelerated according body of reference Cartesian coordinates centre chest classical mechanics consideration corresponding definition disc distance domain earth eclipse electrodynamics embankment emitted energy equations Euclidean continuum Euclidean geometry experience expression finite fixed stars fundamental Galilei transformation Galileian referencebody Galileian system Gaussian coordinates gravitational field H. A. Lorentz hold hypotheses imagine inertial mass laws of nature length light in vacuo little rods Lorentz transformation magnitudes manner marble slab material points matter means measured measuringrods and clocks ment mollusk moving uniformly observer obtain orbit perihelion physical physicists plane position postulate of relativity principle of relativity propagation of light propositions radius railway carriage ray of light regard rela RELATIVITY OF SIMULTANEITY result rigid body rotating satisfied Section simultaneous space coordinates spacetime continuum special theory spectral lines square straight line surface system of coordinates theoretical theory of relativity threedimensional tion transmission of light universe validity values velocity of light
Popular passages
Page 28  That light requires the same time to traverse the path A > M. as for the path B > M is in reality neither a supposition nor a hypothesis about the physical nature of light, but a stipulation which I can make of my own freewill in order to arrive at a definition of simultaneity.
Page 77  By a suitable choice of units we can thus make this ratio equal to unity. We then have the following law: The gravitational mass of a body is equal to its inertial mass. It is true that this important law had hitherto been recorded in mechanics, but it had not been interpreted. A satisfactory interpretation can be obtained only if we recognise the following fact: The same quality of a body manifests itself according to circumstances as "inertia" or as "weight
Page 32  Every referencebody (coordinate system) has its own particular time; unless we are told the referencebody to which the statement of time refers, there is no meaning in a statement of the time of an event.
Page 9  I stand at the window of a railway carriage which is travelling uniformly, and drop a stone on the embankment, without throwing it. Then, disregarding the influence of the air resistance, I see the stone descend in a straight line. A pedestrian who observes the misdeed from the footpath notices that the stone falls to earth in a parabolic curve. I now ask: Do the "positions" traversed by the stone lie "in reality" on a straight line or on a parabola?
Page 159  RelativitatsTheorie" (Die Naturwissenschaften, 1919, No. 35, p. 520: Julius Springer, Berlin). At all events, a definite decision will be reached during the next few years. If the displacement of spectral lines towards the red by the gravitational potential does not exist, then the general theory of relativity will be untenable.
Page 54  Monism itself is postulated chiefly upon the two greatest discoveries of the nineteenth century — the law of the conservation of energy, and the law of the evolution of species. Both laws establish a greater unity in the phenomena of the universe than mankind had previously been able to accept.
Page 71  K' should be given preference in this sense, and they should be exactly equivalent to K for the formulation of natural laws, provided that they are in a state of uniform rectilinear and nonrotary motion with respect to K; all these bodies of reference are to be regarded as Galileian referencebodies. The validity of the principle of relativity was assumed only for these referencebodies, but not for others (eg, those possessing motion of a different kind). In this sense we speak of the special principle...
Page 79  If he releases a body which he previously had in his hand, the acceleration of the chest will no longer be transmitted to this body, and for this reason the body will approach the floor of the chest with an accelerated relative motion. The observer will further convince himself that the acceleration of the body towards the floor of the chest is always of the same magnitude, whatever kind of body he may happen to use for the experiment.
Page 74  As a result of the more careful study of electromagnetic phenomena, we have come to regard action at a distance as a process impossible without the intervention of some intermediary medium. If, for instance, a magnet attracts a piece of iron, we cannot be content to regard this as meaning that the magnet acts directly on the iron through the intermediate empty space, but we are constrained to imagine — after the manner of Faraday — that the magnet always calls into being something physically...
Page 135  ACCORDING to the general theory of relativity, the geometrical properties of space are not independent, but they are determined by matter. Thus we can draw conclusions about the geometrical structure of the universe only if we base our considerations on the state of the matter as being something that is known. We know from experience that...