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ABC of Relativity

ABC of Relativity

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Published by: api-3833300 on Oct 18, 2008
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03/18/2014

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Ask a dozen people to name a genius and the odds are
that
'E in s te in '
will spring to their lips. Ask them the
meaning of
're la tiv ity '
and few of them will be able
to tell you what it is.

TheABC of Relativity is Bertrand Russell's most brilliant work of scientific popularisation. With marvellous lucidity he steers the reader who has no knowledge of maths or physics through the subtleties of Einstein's thinking; in easily assimilable steps he explains the theories of special and general relativity and describes their practical application (among much else to discoveries about gravitation and the invention of the hydrogen bomb).

'E in s te in ',
wrote Russell,
're v o lu tio n is e d
our

conception of the physical world, but the innumerable popular accounts of his theory generally cease to be intelligible at the point where they begin to say something

im p o rta n t.'

The basic principles of relativity have not changed since Russell first published his lucid guide for the general reader. This new edition takes account of the extension of our knowledge about the theory and its applications.

RUSSELL
ABC O F
REL ATI V I TY
B E R T R A N D
Fourth Revised Edition
Edited by Felix Pirani
LONDON
Preface to the
Fourth Edition
This book first appeared in 1925. The basic principles of
relativity have not changed since then, but both the theory
and its applications have been much extended, and some
revision has been necessary for the second and subsequent
editions. For the second and third editions I carried out these
revisions with Bertrand Russell's approval. The revisions for
this fourth edition are entirely my responsibility. I have again
altered a number of passages to agree with present knowledge
or opinion, and I have attempted to eliminate the possessive
case, as applied to laws or theories, where it seemed to me
no longer appropriate.
I have also done my best to renounce the convention that
the masculine includes the feminine. Sixty years ago this may
have been acceptable, or at least tolerated; now it is no longer
s o ,'a n d
I have little doubt that Russell, who was a pro-feminist
ahead of his time, would have approved of the renunciation.
I have not presumed to meddle with the substance of the
last two chapters, which are largely philosophical, rather than
physical, in character, although there is much in them which
I disagree with.
P .P .

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