Albert Einstein (1879–1955) was an event. He was probably some lazy student who worked at the Bern Patent Office after completing his studies – but he led scientific texts in addition to his actual work. Including the photoelectric effect and the quantum nature of light, which gave him the Nobel Prize. But the paranormal physicist became world famous for his theory of gravity: the theory of relativity. At first glance, it makes a seemingly absurd statement, because it behaves differently than using space and time. Therefore not everyone can follow the theory, and there are many attempts in popular scientific literature to understand it.
Large format youth book
Carl Wilkinson is now contributing an unusual book to the series: it is large-format, with pages 37-centimeters high and 27-centimeters wide, and the layout matches that of a young non-fiction book. Each double page shows an atmospheric, slightly dramatic illustration, suitable for the subject concerned. The text is distributed in small pieces in boxes, in which common explanatory sketches can also be found. But contingency design should not deceive you: the book not only wants to introduce Einstein, but also actually explains what the theory of relativity means and why it is logical contrary to all intuition. This makes the book quite challenging and exciting.
The first chapters describe the basic ideas of physics before Einstein: What are gravity, time, space, and light? The theory of relativity is also presented here – as it is based on Galileo Galilei (1564–1642). Wilkinson then introduces the special theory of relativity and is accompanied by known effects such as time dilation, length contraction, or twin contrasts. Also the famous formula E = MC2 The author devotes a double page before delving into the general theory of relativity. Light deflection, black holes, gravitational redshift and gravitational waves are described. He also mentions where we can find Einstein’s theories in everyday life – for example in lasers or GPS devices.
For the onset of rotating spacetime, Wilkinson chooses an instructive example of a rotating disk: for a co-rotating observer, there are acceleration forces, and the effects of the special theory of relativity follow that the disc no longer has geometry. Can be Euclidean. The example is calculated in some textbooks, but rarely appears in popular science books. Another great example of the thematic depth of the book is the train moving through a tunnel at almost the speed of light. At rest, the train and tunnel are of the same length, but due to the contraction in length, the train fits perfectly into the tunnel. So can you close the gate for some time at the entrance of the tunnel and exit without any collision? The answer to the question can be found in the book.
On the other hand, the double page on the relativity of simultaneous unity is not very successful. Sketches are missing here in which one can see that two events cannot occur at the same time for a stationary and a moving observer. The design of the book intentionally reduces the reading order, which sometimes makes you think a little bit. Also, every now and then you come across blocks of text that seem a bit lost and inconsistent – for example, via fiber optic cable, where I can’t make a direct connection to Einstein.
In addition to the theory of relativity, the book also introduces the person Einstein. However, it slightly overloads the book. The reader will not gain real understanding here. A little less, the book would have become more rigid. Nevertheless, a clear purchase recommendation can be made for beautifully designed work – and not just for young people. Many deliberately challenging adventures wait behind the casual presentation; Wolves in wolf clothes.
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