Books on Relativity: No Math Needed

In summary, There are several books that explain Special and General Relativity without using math, including "General Relativity from A to B" by Robert Geroch, "The Universe and Dr. Einstein" by Lincoln Barnett, "Spacetime Physics" by Mark Taylor and John Archibald Wheeler, and "Albert Einstein: Relativity: The Special and the General Theory." However, some basic understanding of high school algebra may be necessary to fully grasp the concepts. Ultimately, the best place to start may be with Einstein's own explanations of relativity.
  • #1
cscott
782
1
I'm looking for a book that explains Special and General Relativity without the math (my math isn't up to par yet).
 
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  • #2
General Relativity from A to B
by Robert Geroch
 
  • #3
my favorite first book, and still favorite, just to find out why "time dilates", and "lengths contract", was "the universe and Dr. Einstein" by lincoln barnett. it was a small cheap paperback, and i still have a copy. I enjoyed this at the age of 15 and still do.

The first idea explained there, is the problem of how to verify that two events happening at different places, happened at the same time. As I recall, (from 1957), it turns out it cannot be done! So the first paradox is to appreciate that "simultaneity" makes no sense except for events happening at the same place. This is a lovely elementary book. The author is a journalist.

Another well liked work is "Spacetime Physics" by Mark? Taylor and John Archibald Wheeler, from about 1967. It has some delightful illustrations from the works of Jules Verne. At least read the first paragraph, on the parable of the surveyor. Wheeler, was among, or even the, foremost expert on relativity.

Einstein himself also wrote some non mathematical introductions, which are of course excellent, and make the ideas very clear.

As I recall, in my search for explanations of relativity in the 1970's, I happened upon a "Golden Book of Physics" at a rest stop on the turnpike, intended maybe for 6 and 7 year olds. It seemed to me then that even this book did a good job!
 
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  • #4
cscott said:
I'm looking for a book that explains Special and General Relativity without the math (my math isn't up to par yet).

'yet'..? That looks very promising :rolleyes:

The elegant universe by brian greene is a absolute must for a watered-down reltaivity introduction.
 
  • #6
anything that explains special and general relativity without math can at best be a pop science book. if you want something that gets you started with no more than high school alzebra, look at relativity by resnick. my favourite is the book by taylor and wheeler. both deal with special relativity, mostly.
 
  • #7
rainbowings said:
anything that explains special and general relativity without math can at best be a pop science book.
If pop science it must be, then pop science it shall. There's no way you'll get very much further than a pop science understanding with just high school algebra. Resnick has partial derivatives right in the first chapter. And even if you skip past the worked problems, you can not understand forces, energy or electrodynamics without (vector) calculus. Nevertheless, the first 2 chapters of Resnick are quite illuminating by themselves, and the supplements at the end of the book are fairly readable too.
 
  • #8
i'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that probably the book by einstein is the best place to start. you can probably guess why.

try this for a bargain:

Albert Einstein
Relativity: The Special and the General Theory
Three Rivers Press*Used - Good. May have some hi-lighting/marking and wear. Your purchase benefits Books For Africa!
ISBN: 0517025302
Bookseller Inventory #Z0-004-784
*Price:*US$*1.00 (Convert Currency) Shipping:*Rates & Speed
Bookseller:*Better World Books, 3702 W. Sample St., South Bend, IN, U.S.A., 46619
 
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  • #9
I like Spacetime Physics by Taylor & Wheeler, very beginner friendly.

edit: Though it does have math, but the math is VERY basic. If you can add/subtract/divide/multiply you can do it.
 

Related to Books on Relativity: No Math Needed

1. What is the main focus of "Books on Relativity: No Math Needed"?

The main focus of "Books on Relativity: No Math Needed" is to explain the complex concept of relativity in a simple and easy-to-understand manner, without the use of mathematical equations.

2. Who is the target audience for "Books on Relativity: No Math Needed"?

The target audience for this book is anyone who is interested in learning about relativity, but may not have a strong background in mathematics. It is also suitable for those who are intimidated by equations and prefer a more conceptual understanding.

3. Is "Books on Relativity: No Math Needed" suitable for beginners?

Yes, this book is designed for beginners and assumes no prior knowledge of relativity or advanced mathematics. It starts with the basics and gradually builds upon them to help readers understand the concept of relativity.

4. Are there any real-life examples or applications of relativity discussed in the book?

Yes, "Books on Relativity: No Math Needed" includes various real-life examples and applications of relativity, such as GPS systems, gravitational lensing, and time dilation. These examples help readers to better understand and visualize the concept of relativity.

5. Can "Books on Relativity: No Math Needed" be used as a reference guide?

Yes, this book can serve as a reference guide for those who want to refresh their understanding of relativity or need a quick review of the key concepts. It includes a glossary and index to help readers easily find specific information.

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