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Relativity


Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time (Great Discoveries)

Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time (Great Discoveries) Lowest new price: $9.41
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Author: Michio Kaku

In paperback for the centenary of the discovery of relativity, "a fresh and highly visual tour through Einstein's astonishing legacy" (Brian Greene).

The year 2005 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of the paper that launched Einstein's career, made E=mc2 famous, and ushered in a revolution in science—the paper that announced the theory of special relativity. And there's no better short book that explains just what Einstein did than Einstein's Cosmos. Keying Einstein's crucial discoveries to the simple mental images that inspired them, Michio Kaku finds a revealing new way to discuss these ideas, and delivers an appealing and always accessible introduction to Einstein's work.

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Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe (P.S.)

Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe (P.S.) Lowest new price: $4.95
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Author: Simon Singh

A half century ago, a shocking Washington Post headline claimed that the world began in five cataclysmic minutes rather than having existed for all time; a skeptical scientist dubbed the maverick theory the Big Bang. In this amazingly comprehensible history of the universe, Simon Singh decodes the mystery behind the Big Bang theory, lading us through the development of one of the most extraordinary, important, and awe-inspiring theories in science.

A baffling array of science books claim to reveal how the mysteries of the universe have been discovered, but Simon Singh's Big Bang actually delivers on that promise. General readers will find it to be among the very best books dealing with cosmology, because Singh follows the same plan he used in his brilliant Code Book: he puts people--not equations--first in the story. By linking the progression of the Big Bang theory with the scientists who built it up bit by bit, Singh also uncovers an important truth about how such ideas grow.

Death is an essential element in the progress of science, since it takes care of conservative scientists of a previous generation reluctant to let go of an old, fallacious theory and embrace a new and accurate one.
As harsh as this statement seems, even Einstein defended an outmoded idea about the universe when an unknown interloper published equations challenging the great man. Einstein didn't have to die for cosmology to move forward (he reluctantly apologized for being wrong), but stories like this one show how difficult it can sometimes be for new theories to take root. Fred Hoyle, who coined the term "big bang" as a way to ridicule the idea of a universe expanding from some tiny origin point, strongly believed that the cosmos was in a steady state. But Singh shows how Hoyle's research, meant to prove the contrary, added evidence to the expansion model. Big Bang is also a history of astronomical observation, describing the development of new telescopes that were crucial to the development of cosmology. Handwritten summary notes at the end of each long chapter add a charming, classroom feel to this revealing and very readable book. --Therese Littleton

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Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity

Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity Lowest new price: $110.99
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Author: Sean Carroll

Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity provides a lucid and thoroughly modern introduction to general relativity. With an accessible and lively writing style, it introduces modern techniques to what can often be a formal and intimidating subject. Readers are led from the physics of flat spacetime (special relativity), through the intricacies of differential geometry and Einstein's equations, and on to exciting applications such as black holes, gravitational radiation, and cosmology.

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Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity

Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity Lowest new price: $75.17
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Author: James B. Hartle

The aim of this groundbreaking new book is to bring general relativity into the undergraduate curriculum and make this fundamental theory accessible to all physics majors. Using a "physics first" approach to the subject, renowned relativist James B. Hartle provides a fluent and accessible introduction that uses a minimum of new mathematics and is illustrated with a wealth of exciting applications. The emphasis is on the exciting phenomena of gravitational physics and the growing connection between theory and observation. The Global Positioning System, black holes, X-ray sources, pulsars, quasars, gravitational waves, the Big Bang, and the large scale structure of the universe are used to illustrate the widespread role of how general relativity describes a wealth of everyday and exotic phenomena.

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A First Course in General Relativity

A First Course in General Relativity Lowest new price: $56.18
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Author: Bernard Schutz

Clarity, readability and rigor combine in the second edition of this widely-used textbook to provide the first step into general relativity for undergraduate students with a minimal background in mathematics. Topics within relativity that fascinate astrophysical researchers and students alike are covered with Schutz's characteristic ease and authority - from black holes to gravitational lenses, from pulsars to the study of the Universe as a whole. This edition now contains discoveries by astronomers that require general relativity for their explanation; a revised chapter on relativistic stars, including new information on pulsars; an entirely rewritten chapter on cosmology; and an extended, comprehensive treatment of modern detectors and expected sources. Over 300 exercises, many new to this edition, give students the confidence to work with general relativity and the necessary mathematics, whilst the informal writing style makes the subject matter easily accessible.

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One Two Three . . . Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science (Dover Books on Mathematics)

One Two Three . . . Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science (Dover Books on Mathematics) Lowest new price: $6.26
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Author: George Gamow

" . .. full of intellectual treats and tricks, of whimsy and deep scientific philosophy. It is highbrow entertainment at its best, a teasing challenge to all who aspire to think about the universe." — New York Herald Tribune
One of the world's foremost nuclear physicists (celebrated for his theory of radioactive decay, among other accomplishments), George Gamow possessed the unique ability of making the world of science accessible to the general reader.
He brings that ability to bear in this delightful expedition through the problems, pleasures and puzzles of modern science. Among the topics scrutinized with the author's celebrated good humor and pedagogical prowess are the macrocosm and the microcosm, theory of numbers, relativity of space and time, entropy, genes, atomic structure, nuclear fission, and the origin of the solar system.
In the pages of this book readers grapple with such crucial matters as whether it is possible to bend space, why a rocket shrinks, the "end of the world problem," excursions into the fourth dimension, and a host of other tantalizing topics for the scientifically curious. Brimming with amusing anecdotes and provocative problems, One Two Three ... Infinity also includes over 120 delightful pen-and-ink illustrations by the author, adding another dimension of good-natured charm to these wide-ranging explorations.
Whatever your level of scientific expertise, chances are you'll derive a great deal of pleasure, stimulation and information from this unusual and imaginative book. It belongs in the library of anyone curious about the wonders of the scientific universe. "In One Two Three . . . Infinity, as in his other books, George Gamow succeeds where others fail because of his remarkable ability to combine technical accuracy, choice of material, dignity of expression, and readability." — Saturday Review of Literature

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Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein’s Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-Time

Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein’s Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-Time Lowest new price: $7.25
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Author: Richard P. Feynman
Brand: Basic Books

Six lectures, all regarding the most revolutionary discovery in twentieth-century physics: Einstein's Theory of Relativity. No one--not even Einstein himself--explained these difficult, anti-intuitive concepts more clearly, or with more verve and gusto, than Feynman.

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The Story of Science: Einstein Adds a New Dimension

The Story of Science: Einstein Adds a New Dimension Lowest new price: $14.00
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Author: Joy Hakim
Brand: Smithsonian Books

In volume three, students will look over Albert Einstein's shoulder as he and his colleagues develop a new kind of physics. It leads in two directions: to knowledge of the vast universe and its future (insights build on Einstein's theories of relativity), and to an understanding of the astonishingly small subatomic world (the realm of quantum physics). Students will learn why relativity and quantum theory revolutionized our world and led to the most important ideas in modern science, maybe of all time.

In the three-book The Story of Science series, master storyteller Joy Hakim narrates the evolution of scientific thought from ancient times to the present. With lively, character-driven narrative, Hakim spotlights the achievements of some of the world's greatest scientists and encourages a similiar spirit of inquiry in readers. The books include hundreds of color photographs, charts, maps, and diagrams; informative sidebars; suggestions for further reading; and excerpts from the writings of great scientists.

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Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology: A Basic Introduction (Oxford Master Series in Physics)

Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology: A Basic Introduction (Oxford Master Series in Physics) Lowest new price: $39.56
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Author: Ta-Pei Cheng

Einstein's general theory of relativity is introduced in this advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate level textbook. Topics include special relativity, in the formalism of Minkowski's four-dimensional space-time, the principle of equivalence, Riemannian geometry and tensor analysis, Einstein field equation, as well as many modern cosmological subjects, from primordial inflation and cosmic microwave anisotropy to the dark energy that propels an accelerating universe. The author presents the subject with an emphasis on physical examples and simple applications without the full tensor apparatus. The reader first learns how to describe curved spacetime. At this mathematically more accessible level, the reader can already study the many interesting phenomena such as gravitational lensing, precession of Mercury's perihelion, black holes, and cosmology. The full tensor formulation is presented later, when the Einstein equation is solved for a few symmetric cases. Many modern topics in cosmology are discussed in this book: from inflation, cosmic microwave anisotropy to the "dark energy" that propels an accelerating universe. Mathematical accessibility, together with the various pedagogical devices (e.g., worked-out solutions of chapter-end problems), make it practical for interested readers to use the book to study general relativity and cosmology on their own.

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The Quantum Universe: (And Why Anything That Can Happen, Does)

The Quantum Universe: (And Why Anything That Can Happen, Does) Lowest new price: $7.24
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Author: Brian Cox

In The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw approach the world of quantum mechanics in the same way they did in Why Does E=mc2? and make fundamental scientific principles accessible—and fascinating—to everyone.

The subatomic realm has a reputation for weirdness, spawning any number of profound misunderstandings, journeys into Eastern mysticism, and woolly pronouncements on the interconnectedness of all things. Cox and Forshaw’s contention? There is no need for quantum mechanics to be viewed this way. There is a lot of mileage in the “weirdness” of the quantum world, and it often leads to confusion and, frankly, bad science. The Quantum Universe cuts through the Wu Li and asks what observations of the natural world made it necessary, how it was constructed, and why we are confident that, for all its apparent strangeness, it is a good theory.

The quantum mechanics of The Quantum Universe provide a concrete model of nature that is comparable in its essence to Newton’s laws of motion, Maxwell’s theory of electricity and magnetism, and Einstein’s theory of relativity.

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