Relativity for Everyone

How Space-Time Bends

Authors: Fischer, Kurt

  • Only book to explain both special and general relativity exactly, using only elementary math
  • Replaces lengthy calculations with figures and thought experiments
  • Comes quickly to the point, focusing on the physical principle​​
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-00587-4
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About this book

This book explains the theory of special and general relativity in detail, without digressions such as information on Einstein's life or the historical background. However, complicated calculations are replaced with figures and thought experiments, the text being formulated in such a way that the reader will be able to understand the gist intuitively. The first part of the book focuses on the essentials of special relativity. Explanations are provided of the famous equivalence between mass and energy and of why Einstein was able to use the theory of electrodynamics as a template for his "electrodynamics of moving bodies", simply because besides the speed of light, the electric charge itself is also absolute, leading to the relativity of other physical quantities. General relativity is then introduced, mainly with the help of thought experiments. Reference is made to the previously introduced special relativity and the equivalence principle and, using many figures, it is explained how space-time is bending under gravity. The climax of the book comes with the Einstein equations of gravity that describe the way in which matter bends space-time. The reader is shown how to obtain the famous Schwarzschild solution. There follows a numerically correct and yet intuitive explanation of the classic effects such as light bending or the movement of the perihelion. The book concludes by explaining the Friedmann model of the big bang and why the theory of gravity does not fit with quantum theory.

About the authors

Kurt Fischer was born in Kleve in Germany near the Dutch border. He undertook undergraduate studies in physics and mathematics at Technical University RWTH Aachen, and graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich in physics and mathematics. He then obtained a PhD in physics from Stuttgart University and performed postgraduate studies at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart and the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden. Dr. Fischer subsequently had research stays at the University of Tokyo and the Mitsubishi Research Institute in Tokyo. He is currently Professor for Mathematics and Physics at the Tokuyama College of Technology in Japan.

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-00587-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Relativity for Everyone
Book Subtitle
How Space-Time Bends
Authors
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-00587-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-00587-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 129
Number of Illustrations and Tables
112 b/w illustrations, 2 illustrations in colour
Topics