Skip to main content
  • Book
  • © 2013

How Einstein Created Relativity out of Physics and Astronomy

Authors:

  • Presents Einstein's scientific work in a larger historical context, which goes beyond existing biographies

  • Contributes to a deeper understanding of theory of relativity by tracing step-by-step the development of physical concepts by the works of Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Mach and others

  • Covers all aspects of relativity theory (special and general), as well as cosmology, the unified field theory quest and Einstein’s dispute over quantum physics

  • Includes supplementary material: sn.pub/extras

Part of the book series: Astrophysics and Space Science Library (ASSL, volume 394)

Buying options

eBook USD 89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4614-4782-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 149.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Table of contents (29 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xv
  2. Genesis: Riding a Beam of Light

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-2
  3. Special Relativity

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 41-41
    2. The Michelson-Morley Muddle

      • David R. Topper
      Pages 49-53
    3. What Does the Theory Predict?

      • David R. Topper
      Pages 55-65
    4. From Railroad Time to Space-Time

      • David R. Topper
      Pages 67-76
    5. 1911: The Paradox About Time

      • David R. Topper
      Pages 77-78
    6. Is the Theory True Today?

      • David R. Topper
      Pages 79-81
  4. General Relativity

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 83-84
    2. Galileo Discovers How Bodies Fall

      • David R. Topper
      Pages 85-88
    3. 1920: Year of Fame, Year of Infamy

      • David R. Topper
      Pages 121-125

About this book

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. <br> <br>

 Treading a fine line between the technical and popular (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.

Keywords

  • Einstein Theory Historical Context
  • Einstein and Cosmology
  • Einstein and Positivism
  • Einstein's Cosmic Model
  • Einstein's Influences
  • Einstein's Relativity Theory
  • Einstein's Thought Experiment
  • General Relativity Theory
  • Special Relativity Theory
  • Unified Field Theory

Reviews

From the reviews:

Selected by Choice magazine as an "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2013

“Topper … has written an engaging, lucid account of Einstein’s development of the special and general theories of relativity. … Topper provides an easy, readable narrative … clear footnotes that add depth and detail without interrupting the story line. … Topper’s slender volume is impressive in successfully conveying to a general audience beyond the high-school level both the science and the detective work needed to reconstruct the history of the science. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic, general, and professional audiences.” (J. R. Burciaga, Choice, Vol. 50 (9), May, 2013)

“David Topper’s ‘How Einstein Created Relativity out of Physics and Astronomy’ presents both of the theories in an easily understandable and accessible way not requiring previous knowledge or familiarity with higher mathematics or tensor calculus. … I would definitely recommend reading it to those interested in any of the general themes of the book: relativity, history of physics and astronomy and Albert Einstein. This book is certainly worth reading, not just once, but many times.” (Kadri Tinn, AstroMadness.com, March, 2014)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Winnipeg, Canada

    David Topper

About the author

David R. Topper, Professor of History at the University of Winnipeg (retiring in June 2012), has taught courses in the history of science and the history of art since 1970. He was the recipient of two teaching awards: the Robson Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Winnipeg (1981) and the National 3M Teaching Fellowship (1987).  Since 1982 he has been an international co-editor and since 2005, an honorary editor of the journal Leonardo. His recent publications are on matters related to the work of Galileo, Newton and Einstein. In 2007 he published Quirky Sides of Scientists: True Tales of Ingenuity and Error from Physics and Astronomy (Springer).

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4614-4782-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 149.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)