Essays In Science Book

It's All Relative
Around 1950, Hayward Cirker, Founder and President of Dover Publications, wrote to Einstein and asked his approval to proceed with a Dover paperback reprint of the 1923 collection of original papers on relativity by Einstein himself and others (H. A. Lorentz, H. Weyl, and H. Minkowski), which had originally been published in England. Einstein was reluctant, wondering how much interest there could possibly be in this relic of his work from 30 or more years earlier. Cirker persisted, and Einstein finally agreed — the Dover edition of The Theory of Relativity has been in print ever since and has been followed by many other Dover books on relativity.

The papers reprinted in this original collection will always be for the serious student the cornerstone of their Einstein library: Michelson's Interference Experiment (H. A. Lorentz); Electromagnetic Phenomena in a System Moving with any Velocity Less Than That of Light (H.A. Lorentz); On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies (A. Einstein); Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon its Energy Content? (A. Einstein); Space and Time (H. Minkowksi with notes by A. Sommerfeld); On the Influence of Gravitation on the Propagation of Light (A. Einstein); and The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity (A. Einstein) found on pages 109–164 of this text; Hamilton's Principle and The General Theory of Relativity (A. Einstein); Cosmological Considerations on the General Theory of Relativity (A. Einstein); Do Gravitational Fields Play an Essential Part in the Structure of the Elementary Particles of Matter? (A. Einstein); and Gravitation and Electricity (H. Weyl).

In the Author's Own Words:

"How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought independent of experience, is so admirably adapted to the objects of reality?"

"What nature demands from us is not a quantum theory or a wave theory; rather, nature demands from us a synthesis of these two views which thus far has exceeded the mental powers of physicists."

"Do not be troubled by your difficulties with Mathematics, I can assure you mine are much greater." — Albert Einstein

Critical Acclaim for The Theory of Relativity:

"This book constitutes an indispensable part of a library on relativity." — Nature

Not to be confused with Academic book.

A science book is a work of nonfiction, usually written by a scientist, researcher, or professor like Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time), or sometimes by a non-scientist such as Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything). Usually these books are written for a wide audience presumed to have a general education rather than a specifically scientific training, as opposed to the very narrow audience that a scientific paper would have, and are therefore referred to as popular science. As such, they require considerable talent on the part of the author to sufficiently explain difficult topics to people who are totally new to the subject, and a good blend of storytelling and technical writing. In the UK, the Royal Society Prizes for Science Books are considered to be the most prestigious awards for science writing.[1] In the US, the National Book Awards briefly had a category for science writing in the 1960s, but now they just have the broad categories of fiction and nonfiction.

There are many disciplines that are well explained to lay people through science books. A few examples include Carl Sagan on astronomy, Jared Diamond on geography, Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins on evolutionary biology, David Eagleman on neuroscience, Donald Norman on usability and cognitive psychology, Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky, and Robert Ornstein on linguistics and cognitive science, Donald Johanson and Robert Ardrey on paleoanthropology, and Desmond Morris on zoology and anthropology, and Fulvio Melia on black holes.

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