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... about the book
can I get the book?!?
available through most booksellers. A selection is given here. The
paperback is priced aggressively low, with a low retailer margin, so a
lot of bookshops aren't likely to keep it in stock. The hardback
version (July 2008) has a more conventional retailer markup, so that
might find its way into a few bricks-and-mortar retailers.
if you're in Europe or the US you should be able to order a copy
through your local library, using the library exchange
the publisher's website?
It's at www.chocolatetreebooks.com.
material likely to be approved for my physics course?
- I very much doubt it! :)
the main arguments of the book is that the newer concepts used by
general relativity make Einstein's special theory redundant, and that
once we're familiar with curved-spacetime arguments, SR just seems to
get in the way. Since current "relativity" courses are based on special
relativity, and current textbooks insist that SR has to be part of any
credible larger theory, that message isn't likely to go down well with
those tasked with teaching "syllabus" physics.
got me thinking, I was wondering if I could
discuss some of it with you?
unfortunately there's only the one of
and I'm intending to be
busy with other things. There's a discussion newsgroup called sci.physics.relativity
talk about these sorts of subjects, any relevant comments or questions
can be addressed there. I intend to pop in from time to
time, meanwhile there are lots of other people there who will
most likely want to tell you what they think.
special relativity is outdated? Surely it has to be the foundation of modern
If you read
find him appearing to say that he now considers special
historical accident that
can no longer be justified with hindsight. Anyone who doesn't
believe that Einstein could
written such a thing is free to track down an old "April 1950" copy of Scientific
American, or look for the article on
or find the piece reprinted in full in the "Ideas and
pp.341-356. The Einstein paragraph quoted on the book's
can basically be taken as
this book's mission statement.
- How much research did you do for
the background research was carried out during the 1990's when I was
running my old "Erk's Relativity Pages"
website. My rule for that site was that no information went onto it, no
matter how obvious, until it had been checked. Since it was a 300-page
site, I did a lot of checking.
in London, I got to
the Imperial College libraries and the old national Science Library
(that used to be based at the "Patents" building). Between those
had access to just about everything published in English over the last
century, apart from some of the smaller US journals. For the major
journals, I went through the printed indexes and abstract indexes for
everything in the C20th. These libraries also carried some pretty
ancient material. That sort of deep access, where you try to
follow up everything
something that can't (yet) be done online, although citation databases
certainly help. But there are things that are missing from the indexes,
or mistyped, or misattributed, which you only notice when you go
through the actual journals. And search engines aren't perfect: one
important paper on the transverse Doppler effect that I initially
missed (Hasselkamp et al, Z. fur Physik)
doesn't show in in database searches using the word “transverse”,
because the authors had instead chosen to use the word
sort of deep checking is getting more difficult nowadays, as science
libraries move older stock to "off-site" archival
- Why do
you put so
emphasis on Newton? What about (insert
underrated C18th European researcher
not able to do justice to sources
available in English. There are multilingual historians who spend their
researching who should really be given the credit
discoveries, and I'm inclined to leave the job to them.
misrepresented GR1915's predictions on [insert
black hole topic
here]. Surely that can't be right?
- Go check Kip Thorne's excellent “Black
book. It has a great chapter on the history of dark stars, and
covers just about every technical subject to do with black holes that
you can think of.
acoustic metrics and acoustic horizons. Where can I read more about
still a comparatively new subject.
For a general audience, I uploaded a page on acoustic
metrics, on Wikipedia,
which might be considered to represent some sort of a
community-consensus view – anyone can edit it, but it
changed much since, other than someone adding some scary-looking
For the more technically-minded, Barcelo, Liberati
paper at LANL http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/gr-qc/0505065
references an awful lot of recent papers on the topic.