|About the Book|
This book is composed of two parts: Relativity: The Special and General Theory and Autobiographical Notes, which were both written by Albert Einstein. In his own words, The present book is intended, as far as possible, to give an exact insight intoMoreThis book is composed of two parts: Relativity: The Special and General Theory and Autobiographical Notes, which were both written by Albert Einstein. In his own words, The present book is intended, as far as possible, to give an exact insight into the theory of Relativity to those readers who, from a general scientiﬁc and philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics.The contents of this book have been carefully edited, and especially, the equations have been carefully typeset with proper scaling, and they are more readable on Kindle. The book will not only bring you the theory of relativity as explained by Einstein himself, but also tell you how Einstein developed the theory of relativity and became a great physicist.Book Excerpt:It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which was thus lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the merely-personal, from an existence which is dominated by wishes, hopes and primitive feelings. Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned like a liberation.A wonder of such nature I experienced as a child of 4 or 5 years, when my father showed me a compass. That this needle behaved in such a determined way did not at all fit into the nature of events, which could find a place in the unconscious world of concepts (effect connected with direct touch). I can still remember—or at least believe I can remember—that this experience made a deep and lasting impression upon me. Something deeply hidden had to be behind things. What man sees before him from infancy causes no reaction of this kind- he is not surprised over the falling of bodies, concerning wind and rain, nor concerning the moon or about the fact that the moon does not fall down, nor concerning the differences between living and non-living matter.After ten years of reflection such a principle resulted from a paradox upon which I had already hit at the age of sixteen: If I pursue a beam of light with the velocity c (velocity of light in a vacuum), I should observe such a beam of light as a spatially oscillatory electromagnetic field at rest. However, there seems to be no such thing, whether on the basis of experience or according to Maxwells equations. From the very beginning it appeared to me intuitively clear that, judged from the standpoint of such an observer, everything would have to happen according to the same laws as for an observer who, relative to the earth, was at rest. For how, otherwise, should the first observer know, i.e., be able to determine, that he is in a state of fast uniform motion? One sees that in this paradox the germ of the special relativity theory is already contained.