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What Is Relativity?

An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein's Ideas, and Why They Matter

What Is Relativity?
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US$ 24.99

It is common knowledge that if the Sun suddenly turned into a black hole, it would suck Earth and the rest of the planets into oblivion. Yet as bestselling author and astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett points out, black holes don't suck. With that simple idea in hand, Bennett begins an entertaining introduction to Einstein's theories, describing the amazing phenomena readers would actually experience if they took a trip through a black hole.

The theory of relativity also gives us the cosmic speed limit of the speed of light, the mind-bending ideas of time dilation and curvature of spacetime, and what may be the most famous equation in history: e = mc2. Indeed, the theory of relativity shapes much of our modern understanding of the universe, and it is not "just a theory:" every major prediction of relativity has been tested to exquisite precision and its practical applications include the Global Positioning System (GPS). Bennett proves anyone can understand the basics of Einstein's ideas. His intuitive, nonmathematical approach gives a wide audience its first real taste of how relativity works and why it is so important not only to science but also to the way we view ourselves as human beings.

Columbia University Press; February 2014
192 pages; ISBN 9780231537032
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