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How Einstein created relativity out of physics and astronomy, David R. Topper

How Einstein created relativity out of physics and astronomy, David R. Topper
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 235-245) and index
index present
Literary Form
non fiction
Main title
How Einstein created relativity out of physics and astronomy
Nature of contents
Oclc number
Responsibility statement
David R. Topper
Series statement
Astrophysics and space science library, 394
This book tracks the history of the theory of relativity through Einstein?s life, with in-depth studies of its background as built upon by ideas from earlier scientists. The focus points of Einstein?s theory of relativity include its development throughout his life; the origins of his ideas and his indebtedness to the earlier works of Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Mach and others; the application of the theory to the birth of modern cosmology; and his quest for a unified field theory. Treading a fine line between the popular and technical (but not shying away from the occasional equation), this book explains the entire range of relativity and weaves an up-to-date biography of Einstein throughout. The result is an explanation of the world of relativity, based on an extensive journey into earlier physics and a simultaneous voyage into the mind of Einstein, written for the curious and intelligent reader
Table Of Contents
pt. 1. Genesis : riding a beam of light -- Galileo discovers inertia & the relativity of motion -- Einstein's first famous thought experiment -- Einstein : from Zürich to Bern & the Annus Mirabilis -- Converge, convert, & conserve : physics before Einstein -- pt. 2. Special relativity -- Einstein 1905 : the theory of relativity is born -- The Michelson-Morley muddle -- What does the theory predict? -- From railroad time to space-time -- 1911 : the paradox about time -- Is the theory true today? -- pt. 3. General relativity -- Galileo discovers how bodies fall -- 1907 : Einstein's second famous thought experiment -- Enter, Mach's principle; or, seduced by an idea -- Einstein's epic intellectual journey : 1907 to 1915 -- 1916 : the great summation paper on general relativity -- 1920 : Year of fame, year of infamy -- 1922 : what is time? Bergson versus Einstein ... and the prize -- 1931 : Einstein's first visit to Caltech -- Is the theory true today? -- pt. 4. Cosmology -- Cosmological conundrums and discoveries since Newton -- Einstein 1917 : modern cosmology is born -- Three challenges to Einstein's cosmic model -- 1931 : Caltech, again; Einstein meets Hubble -- Cosmology since 1931 : highlights and episodes -- pt. 5. Exodus : quest for a unified field theory -- Roots of, and routes toward, unification -- 1931 : Caltech, once more -- Exit, Mach; or, the perils of positivism -- The quest ... and the quarrel over quanta -- Legacy : from pariah to posthumous prophet
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