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An Illustrated Guide to Relativity

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  • Author: Tatsu Takeuchi, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Date Published: October 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521141000

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About the Authors
  • Aimed at both physics students and non-science majors, this unique book explains Einstein's special theory of relativity pictorially, using diagrams rather than equations. The diagrams guide the reader, step-by-step, from the basics of relativity to advanced topics including the addition of velocities, Lorentz contraction, time dilation, the twin paradox, Doppler shift, and Einstein's famous equation E=mc². The distinctive figures throughout the book enable the reader to visualize the theory in a way that cannot be fully conveyed through equations alone. The illustrative explanations in this book maintain the logic and rigour necessary for physics students, yet are simple enough to be understood by non-scientists. The book also contains entertaining problems which challenge the reader's understanding of the materials covered.

    • Uses unique diagrams, rather than equations, to explain Einstein's special theory of relativity
    • The distinctive figures enable readers to visualize the theory in a way that cannot be fully conveyed through equations alone
    • Topics covered include the addition of velocities, Lorentz contraction, time dilation, the twin paradox, Doppler shift, and Einstein's famous equation E=mc²
    Read more

    Awards

    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is the most user-friendly book on special relativity that this reviewer has seen. Replete with useful diagrams, extensive footnotes, and a good index, it should make this difficult subject easier for everyone to grasp."
    N. Sadanand, Choice Magazine

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521141000
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 150 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 137 colour illus. 69 exercises
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    Part I. Kinematics:
    1. Introduction
    2. Basics
    3. Galilean relativity
    4. Einsteinian relativity
    5. Causality
    6. Consequences
    7. Summary of Part I
    Part II. Problems:
    8. Qualitative problems
    9. Quantitative problems
    Part III. Dynamics:
    10. The world's most famous equation
    11. The problem
    12. Newtonian dynamics
    13. Relativistic dynamics
    14. Summary of Part III
    Afterword
    References
    Index.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • An Exploration of 20th Century Physics
    • Einstein's Universe; High energy Astronomy
    • Geometry
    • Honors Seminar: Spacetime Physics
    • Optics & Modern Physics
    • Physics of Spacetime
    • Relativity & Cosmology : Einstein & Beyond
    • Rhetoric & Science
    • Space, Time, and Einstein
    • Spacetime Physics
    • Spacetime in the Summertime
    • Special Relativity
  • Author

    Tatsu Takeuchi, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Tatsu Takeuchi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at Virginia Tech. This book grew from the 'Highlights of Contemporary Physics' course he taught for many years. Primarily aimed at non-physics majors, it has been highly popular among physics students as well.

    Awards

    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011

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