Relativity: The Special and General Theory 
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Timeless classic book. This is the most important finding (not just one of the most) in the history of human beings. As one of the great physicist, Lorentz deducted the Lorentz factor by which time, length and relativistic mass change for an object while the object is moving. While Lorentz failed to discover this relativity due to his belief in Newton's theory and the "true time"!
Einstein explained relativity, the speed of light, time and space along with the Lorentz transformation in this short book. A must read for anyone who would like to know time, space and relativity.
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accelerated according body of reference Cartesian coordinates centre chest classical mechanics coordinate system 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 hold hypotheses imagine inertial mass laws of nature length light in vacuo little rods Lorentz transformation Mcurves 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 seconds of arc 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 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 10  In the first place, we entirely shun the vague word "space," of which, we must honestly acknowledge, we cannot form the slightest conception, and we replace it by "motion relative to a practically rigid body of reference.
Page 32  B, whilst he is riding on ahead of the beam of light coming from A. Hence the observer will see the beam of light emitted from B earlier than he will see that emitted from A. Observers who take the railway train as their referencebody must therefore come to the conclusion that the lightning flash B took place earlier than the lightning flash A. We thus arrive at the important result: Events which are simultaneous with reference to the embankment are not simultaneous with respect to the train, and...
Page 27  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 30  People travelling in this train will with advantage use the train as a rigid referencebody (coordinate system): they regard all events in reference to the train. Then every event which takes place along the line also takes place at a particular point of the train. Also the definition of simultaneity can be given relative to the train in exactly the same way as with respect to the embankment. As a natural consequence, however, the following question arises: Are two events (eg, the two strokes of...
Page 15  If, relative to K, K' is a uniformly moving coordinate system devoid of rotation, then natural phenomena run their course with respect to K' according to exactly the same general laws as with respect to K.
Page 159  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 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 31  A and 5) which are simultaneous with reference to so the railway embankment also simultaneous relatively to the train? We shall show directly that the answer must be in the negative. When we say that the lightning strokes A and B are simultaneous with respect to the embankment, we mean: the rays of light emitted at the places A and B, where the lightning occurs, meet each other at the midpoint M of the length A > B of the embankment. But the events A and B also correspond to positions A and B on...
Page 80  Relying on his knowledge of the gravitational field (as it was discussed in the preceding section), the man in the chest will thus come to the conclusion that he and the chest are in a gravitational field which is constant with regard to time. Of course he will be puzzled for a moment as to why the chest does not fall in this gravitational field. Just then, however, he discovers the hook in the middle of the lid of the chest and the rope which is attached to it, and he consequently comes to the conclusion...