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Bookshop: Space-time, relativity, and quantum gravity
Home > Bookshop > Space-time, relativity, and quantum gravity


GENERAL LEVEL
Warped Passages : Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions. Lisa Randall
The concept of additional spatial dimensions is as far from intuitive as any idea can be. Indeed, although Harvard physicist Randall does a very nice job of explaining – often deftly through the use of creative analogies – how our universe may have many unseen dimensions, readers' heads are likely to be swimming by the end of the book. Randall works hard to make her astoundingly complex material understandable... Publishers Weekly

Gravity's Arc : The Story of Gravity from Aristotle to Einstein and Beyond. David Darling
"From Aristotle to Einstein and beyond, Gravity's Arc is a lucid and beautifully written exposition of the still mysterious force that holds our universe together – and the even more mysterious dark twin that may blow it apart." Joshua Gilder, author of Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and the Murder Behind One of History's Greatest Scientific Discoveries

The Great Beyond : Higher Dimensions, Parallel Universes and the Extraordinary Search for a Theory of Everything. Paul Halpern
Halpern explains that over the past century gravity has been the shadow flickering on the walls of the cave hinting at other realms. Why is it so weak compared with electromagnetism? With string theory, and its successor, M-theory, physicists speculate that gravity "leaks" back and forth between our reality, an 11-dimensional "brane" (or membrane) and other branes, perhaps as close as a millimeter away. Publishers Weekly

The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality. Brian Greene
[Greene's] driving question in The Fabric of the Cosmos ... is fundamental: "What is reality?" Over sixteen chapters, he traces the evolving human understanding of the substrate of the universe, from classical physics to ten-dimensional M-Theory. Amazon.com

Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time. Michio Kaku
There are many Einstein biographies out there, and I've read a number of them. In my opinion, this is one of the most concise and readable ones. The writing is clear and engaging, thus making the book difficult to put down. Einstein's theories are clearly explained for anyone to understand, amidst the main highlights of his life and times. I recommend this book to a wide audience, from science buffs to Einstein fans... Amazon reader review

Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy. Kip Thorne
Thorne, the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at CalTech, here offers an accessible, deftly illustrated history of curved spacetime. Covering developments from Einstein to Hawking, he takes his readers to the very edge of theoretical physics: straight through wormholes – and maybe back again – past hyperspace, "hairless" wormholes and quantum foam to the leading questions that drive quantum physics. Publishers Weekly

Relativity Visualized. Lewis Epstein
Epstein is the best teacher of this difficult subject you will ever encounter. His book breaks new ground in relating space, time, and mass in a geometrical way that is –  at last – simple to visualize. Albert Einstein's own book on relativity, though a model of clarity, does not provide this all-important geometric model of four dimensional space/time. Epstein has understood everything that is difficult for us about relativity at a gut level, and thoroughly demystifies it, without ever making the kind of deep conceptual errors to which authors of "popular" books on physics are apt to be prone. Amazon reader review



ACADEMIC
Spacetime Physics: Introduction to Special Relativity. Edwin Taylor & John Wheeler
I used this book to begin my mathematical study of Relativity (and am now working my way through the author's next book, Exploring Black Holes). This book is an excellent introduction into the field from a mathematical perspective, with an excellent presentation, interesting problem sets, and solutions for the odd numbered problems in the back (which is great for learning on your own). The prose is highly readable, and uses very accessible terminology to help the reader understand "what is really going on." Amazon reader review

Exploring Black Holes: Introduction to General Relativity. Edwin Taylor & John Wheeler
Taylor (MIT) and Wheeler (Princeton) use metrics rather than Einstein's field equations to introduce students with modest mathematics backgrounds (elementary calculus and algebra) to concepts of relativity. Focusing always on encouraging curiosity (the inside cover contains a long list of questions such as "what does it feel like to fall toward a black hole"), the authors provide tools for answering questions and carrying out calculations about curved spacetime near Earth and black holes. Book News