Relativity and Its Roots

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, Jan 1, 1999 - Science - 161 pages

In this fascinating, accessible introduction to one of the most revolutionary developments in modern physics, Einstein scholar Banesh Hoffmann recounts the successive insights that led to both the special and general theories of relativity.
Using simple examples from everyday life, the author presents entertaining, nontechnical demonstrations of what relativity actually means and how it has revolutionized our ideas of time and space. Starting with the geometrical and cosmological ideas of the ancient Greeks, the author traces the succession of ideas and advances that paved the way for modern physics, including the theories of Kepler and Newton, Galilean mechanics, the work on electricity and magnetism by Faraday and Maxwell, and many other relevant topics.
Complete with easily understood analogies and numerous instructive diagrams, this stimulating volume brings the complexities of relativity into focus for all readers, even for those with no math or science background.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages

Contents

A Hint of What Is to Come
1
The Path to Newton
5
Newtonian Relativity
23
The Optical Threat to Relativity
43
The Special Theory of Relativity
81
The General Theory of Relativity
129
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

Banesh Hoffmann (1906-86) received his PhD from Princeton University. At Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, he collaborated with Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld on the classic paper "Gravitational Equations and the Problem of Motion." Hoffmann taught at Queens College for more than 40 years.

Bibliographic information