Relativity: The Special and General Theory

Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
Translated by Robert W. Lawson (1890 - 1960)

This is an introduction to Einstein’s space-bending, time-stretching theory of Relativity, written by the master himself. Special and General relativity explain the structure of space time and provide a theory of gravitation, respectively. Einstein’s theories shocked the world with their counterintuitive results, including the dissolution of absolute time. In this book he brings a simplified form of his profound understanding of the subject to the layperson. In the words of Einstein: “The present book is intended, as far as possible, 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.” The book is challenging at times but, when approached patiently, proves itself one of the most lucid explanations of Relativity to be found anywhere. [Due to transcription or optical character recognition errors in creating online texts, and because of less-than-clear fonts in some printed texts, the variables as read in some of the equations here are not as Einstein intended. For example, the numeral ‘one’ has frequently been printed and read as the letter ‘I.’ In addition, some equations do not translate well into the spoken word. If you require completely accurate renditions of Einstein’s mathematical formulas, we suggest that you consult a published text.] — Summary written by Kelly Bescherer [and Laurie Anne Walden]

Genre(s): Astronomy, Physics & Mechanics

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Preface featherheadfop
Play 01 Part I: The Special Theory of Relativity
01. Physical Meaning of Geometrical Propositions
02. The System of Co-ordinates
03. Space and Time in Classical Mechanics
Play 02 04. The Galileian System of Co-ordinates
05. The Principle of Relativity (in the Restricted Sense)
06. The Theorem of the Addition of Velocities employed in Classical Mechanics
Linda Leu
Play 03 07. The Apparent Incompatability of the Law of Propagation of Light with the Principle of Relativity
08. On the Idea of Time in Physics
09. The Relativity of Simultaneity
Peter Eastman
Play 04 10. On the Relativity of the Conception of Distance
11. The Lorentz Transformation
12. The Behaviour of Measuring-Rods and Clocks in Motion
David Barnes
Play 05 13. Theorem of the Addition of Velocities. The Experiment of Fizeau
14. The Hueristic Value of the Theory of Relativity
15. General Results of the Theory
Linda Leu
Play 06 16. Expereince and the Special Theory of Relativity
17. Minkowski's Four-dimensial Space
Play 07 Part II: The General Theory of Relativity
18. Special and General Principle of Relativity
19. The Gravitational Field
20. The Equality of Inertial and Gravitational Mass as an Argument for the General Postulate of Relativity
Laurie Anne Walden
Play 08 21. In What Respects are the Foundations of Classical Mechanics and of the Special Theory of Relativity Unsatisfactory?
22. A Few Inferences from the General Principle of Relativity
23. Behaviour of Clocks and Measuring-Rods on a Rotating Body of Reference
Annie Coleman Rothenberg
Play 09 24. Euclidean and non-Euclidean Continuum
25. Gaussian Co-ordinates
26. The Space-Time Continuum of the Speical Theory of Relativity
Meredith Hughes
Play 10 27. The Space-Time Continuum of the General Theory of Relativity is Not a Eculidean Continuum
28. Exact Formulation of the General Principle of Relativity
29. The Solution of the Problem of Gravitation on the Basis of the
David Barnes
Play 11 Part III: Considerations on the Universe as a Whole
30. Cosmological Difficulties of Netwon's Theory
31. The Possibility of a "Finite" and yet "Unbounded" Universe
32. The Structure of Space According to the General Theory of Relativity
Linda Leu
Play 12 Appendix III ML Cohen