The Special And General Theory

Prabhat Prakashan
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 How better to learn the Special Theory of Relativity and the General Theory of Relativity than directly from their creator, Albert Einstein himself? In Relativity: The Special and the General Theory, Einstein describes the theories that made him famous, illuminating his case with numerous examples and a smattering of math (nothing more complex than high-school algebra). Einstein's book is not casual reading, but for those who appreciate his work without diving into the arcana of theoretical physics, Relativity will prove a stimulating read. "The present book is intended," Einstein wrote in 1916, "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."
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About the author

 Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was born in Germany and became an American citizen in 1940. A world-famous theoretical physicist, he was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics and is renowned for his Theory of Relativity. In addition to his scientific work, Einstein was an influential humanist who spoke widely about politics, ethics, and social causes. After leaving Europe, Einstein taught at Princeton University. His theories were instrumental in shaping the atomic age.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Prabhat Prakashan
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Published on
Jan 1, 1948
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Pages
168
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ISBN
9788184302288
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This book focuses on the phenomena of inertia and gravitation, one objective being to shed some new light on the basic laws of gravitational interaction and the fundamental nature and structures of spacetime. Chapter 1 is devoted to an extensive, partly new analysis of the law of inertia. The underlying mathematical and geometrical structure of Newtonian spacetime is presented from a four-dimensional point of view, and some historical difficulties and controversies - in particular the concepts of free particles and straight lines - are critically analyzed, while connections to projective geometry are also explored. The relativistic extensions of the law of gravitation and its intriguing consequences are studied in Chapter 2. This is achieved, following the works of Weyl, Ehlers, Pirani and Schild, by adopting a point of view of the combined conformal and projective structure of spacetime. Specifically, Mach’s fundamental critique of Newton’s concepts of ‘absolute space’ and ‘absolute time’ was a decisive motivation for Einstein’s development of general relativity, and his equivalence principle provided a new perspective on inertia. In Chapter 3 the very special mathematical structure of Einstein’s field equations is analyzed, and some of their remarkable physical predictions are presented. By analyzing different types of dragging phenomena, Chapter 4 reviews to what extent the equivalence principle is realized in general relativity - a question intimately connected to the ‘new force’ of gravitomagnetism, which was theoretically predicted by Einstein and Thirring but which was only recently experimentally confirmed and is thus of current interest.
First published in 1922 and based on lectures delivered in May 1921, Albert Einstein’s The Meaning of Relativity offered an overview and explanation of the then new and controversial theory of relativity. The work would go on to become a monumental classic, printed in numerous editions and translations worldwide. Now, The Formative Years of Relativity introduces Einstein’s masterpiece to new audiences. This beautiful volume contains Einstein’s insightful text, accompanied by important historical materials and commentary looking at the origins and development of general relativity. Hanoch Gutfreund and Jürgen Renn provide fresh, original perspectives, placing Einstein’s achievements into a broader context for all readers.

In this book, Gutfreund and Renn tell the rich story behind the early reception, spread, and consequences of Einstein’s ideas during the formative years of general relativity in the late 1910s and 1920s. They show that relativity’s meaning changed radically throughout the nascent years of its development, and they describe in detail the transformation of Einstein’s work from the esoteric pursuit of one individual communicating with a handful of colleagues into the preoccupation of a growing community of physicists, astronomers, mathematicians, and philosophers.

This handsome edition quotes extensively from Einstein’s correspondence and reproduces historical documents such as newspaper articles and letters. Inserts are featured in the main text giving concise explanations of basic concepts, and short biographical notes and photographs of some of Einstein’s contemporaries are included. The first-ever English translations of two of Einstein’s popular Princeton lectures are featured at the book’s end.

This book is about scientific theories of a particular kind - theories of mathematical physics. Examples of such theories are classical and relativis tic particle mechanics, classical electrodynamics, classical thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, hydrodynamics, and quantum mechanics. Roughly, these are theories in which a certain mathematical structure is employed to make statements about some fragment of the world. Most of the book is simply an elaboration of this rough characterization of theories of mathematical physics. It is argued that each theory of mathematical physics has associated with it a certain characteristic mathematical struc ture. This structure may be used in a variety of ways to make empirical claims about putative applications of the theory. Typically - though not necessarily - the way this structure is used in making such claims requires that certain elements in the structure play essentially different roles. Some playa "theoretical" role; others playa "non-theoretical" role. For example, in classical particle mechanics, mass and force playa theoretical role while position plays a non-theoretical role. Some attention is given to showing how this distinction can be drawn and describing precisely the way in which the theoretical and non-theoretical elements function in the claims of the theory. An attempt is made to say, rather precisely, what a theory of mathematical physics is and how you tell one such theory from anothe- what the identity conditions for these theories are.
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