Based on a short course of lectures delivered in the late 1930s, this short book presents the theory of Special Relativity by formulating a redefinition of the measurement of length, and thus will appeal to students of physics who wish to think through Einstein’s thought without the encumbrance of quasi-scientific concepts and language.
Relativity: A Very Elementary Exposition:
This brief lecture, delivered in October 1921 and published for the first time in 1925, offers an explanation of Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity for the non-scientist, giving a general overview that does justice both to the actual physics involved, and the wider implications of this revolutionary discovery of the 20th century.
The author follows a quasi-historical method of presentation. The book begins with a review of the classical physics, covering such topics as origins of space and time measurements, geometric axioms, Ptolemaic and Copernican astronomy, concepts of equilibrium and force, laws of motion, inertia, mass, momentum and energy, Newtonian world system (absolute space and absolute time, gravitation, celestial mechanics, centrifugal forces, and absolute space), laws of optics (the corpuscular and undulatory theories, speed of light, wave theory, Doppler effect, convection of light by matter), electrodynamics (including magnetic induction, electromagnetic theory of light, electromagnetic ether, electromagnetic laws of moving bodies, electromagnetic mass, and the contraction hypothesis). Born then takes up his exposition of Einstein's special and general theories of relativity, discussing the concept of simultaneity, kinematics, Einstein's mechanics and dynamics, relativity of arbitrary motions, the principle of equivalence, the geometry of curved surfaces, and the space-time continuum, among other topics. Born then points out some predictions of the theory of relativity and its implications for cosmology, and indicates what is being sought in the unified field theory.
This account steers a middle course between vague popularizations and complex scientific presentations. This is a careful discussion of principles stated in thoroughly acceptable scientific form, yet in a manner that makes it possible for the reader who has no scientific training to understand it. Only high school algebra has been used in explaining the nature of classical physics and relativity, and simple experiments and diagrams are used to illustrate each step. The layman and the beginning student in physics will find this an immensely valuable and usable introduction to relativity. This Dover 1962 edition was greatly revised and enlarged by Dr. Born.
With a new foreword by Basil Hiley, a close colleague of David Bohm's, The Special Theory of Relativity is an indispensable addition to the work of one of greatest physicists and thinkers of the twentieth century.
Specially designed to appeal to a wide range of readers, An Introduction to thePhilosophy of Science offers accessible coverage of such topics as laws and probability, measurement and quantitative language, the structure of space, causality and determinism, theoretical laws and concepts and much more. Stimulating and thought-provoking, the text will be of interest to philosophers, scientists and anyone interested in logical analysis of the concepts, statements and theories of science. Its clear and readable style help make it "the best book available for the intelligent reader who wants to gain some insight into the nature of contemporary philosophy of science" ― Choice. Foreword to the Basic Books Paperback Edition, 1974 (Gardner); Preface (Carnap); Foreword to the Dover Edition (Gardner). 35 black-and-white illustrations. Bibliography.
While some of the book utilizes mathematics of a somewhat advanced nature, the exposition is so careful and complete that most people familiar with the philosophy of science or some intermediate mathematics will understand the majority of the ideas and problems discussed.
Partial CONTENTS: I. The Problem of Physical Geometry. Universal and Differential Forces. Visualization of Geometries. Spaces with non-Euclidean Topological Properties. Geometry as a Theory of Relations. II. The Difference between Space and Time. Simultaneity. Time Order. Unreal Sequences. Ill. The Problem of a Combined Theory of Space and Time. Construction of the Space-Time Metric. Lorentz and Einstein Contractions. Addition Theorem of Velocities. Principle of Equivalence. Einstein's Concept of the Problems of Rotation and Gravitation. Gravitation and Geometry. Riemannian Spaces. The Singular Nature of Time. Spatial Dimensions. Reality of Space and Time.