Einstein in Verse: Introduction to Special and General Relativity

Einstein in Verse: Introduction to Special and General Relativity

English | November 1, 2013 | ISBN: 1492896098 | 140 Pages | Rar (PDF, AZW3) | 0.64 MB

Books on Einstein and his theories abound. However, this book is uniquely different. It presents key concepts in Special and General Relativity, in verse form. The aim is to make Einstein's insights more "fun" to learn. It uses rhyme and rhythm to render reading memorable and thus pleasurable. Moreover, what is pleasurable may foster a better understanding, as well as retention, of ideas. Use of verse apparently worked effectively in ancient times: in the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer among the Greeks; in the Vedas and Upanishads of ancient India; both rhyme, in the form of alliteration, and rhythm in Beowulf among the Anglo-Saxons, etc. The target reader is college-educated, or college student in third year, or anyone willing to "puzzle" it out, who desires to understand why time slows down and lengths contract when objects are in relative motion; how Science, Einstein's theories in particular, can contribute to answering the perennial question: what it is to be human; how to time travel to the future by staying "young"; etc. Relativity has a reputation of being "difficult". For example, "curvature of spacetime" seems so abstruse, so forbidding a concept. But, do not disarm yourself prematurely. Do not be intimidated. As it turns out, curvature of spacetime is tidal gravity, the cause of familiar ocean tides. You may even have a "gut" feel for it. This book will not teach you how to solve problems in Relativity. Nor will it teach you how to prove "The shortest distance takes the longest time". No, we will spend our time grasping Einstein's insights, their implications on Reality and on mind; and amid our quest, on what it means to be human. More "fun" to learn does not mean that verse form is the "lazy" road to learning. It does not mean that verse form makes the difficult easy, or, the rough, plain. No, the difficult remains difficult; the rough remains rough. And to grasp it, you have to exert a determined, sustained effort and be willing to stretch your mind to accommodate the "wild" notions in Relativity. The idea motivating this book is to make the "stretching" more enjoyable relative to prose by using the rhyme-rhythm features of verse. But, "stretch" your mind, you have to. There is no "royal, poetic" road to learning! There is a feature in our history, that stands out in view of our concerns in conveying knowledge-a feature that the ancients aptly used. It is the oral tradition. Since the first humans appeared, oral tradition was the sole means in transmitting knowledge for a very long time, indeed. If we fit the whole time since the first humans lived into a year, then writing started only about the morning of 30th of December. That is a huge time in which oral tradition operated, i.e. about 99.5% of our time as humans. What does this imply? We transmitted information orally; and we received information aurally! This "oral-aural" conveyance was the way for all information, including that of knowledge. In addition, during the five hundred thousand years or so, oral tradition honed our brains to receive knowledge "aurally". To me, this implies that our brains have a natural "deep resonance" to features of language in the oral tradition. The key language features in the oral tradition are the rhymes and rhythms of verse. I wrote this book in verse, inspired by this thought: to make the most out of the "resonant structures" in our brains engendered by oral tradition, to convey the deep insights of Einstein on Reality. It is my sincere wish that Einstein's ideas will find recognition in the public understanding and thus inform the public outlook. I invite you, everyone: Hop in with me, a time machine we ride, Intent on chasing space-time concepts wild; To fathom Einstein's insights into Reality, In his Special and General Relativity. Like Wordsworth, a lonely cloud wandering, Through space and time we will be winging, Not to appreciate the "daffodils" of Nature; But to understand Nature's Architecture.



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