Relativity: A Very Short Introduction [#190]
Relativity: A Very Short Introduction [#190]


  • Explains both the Special Theory of Relativity, and the General Theory, and how they differed from existing Newtonian and Euclidian concepts of space and time
  • Looks at the evidence that gave rise to the theory of relativity, and how it has been tested and proved since
  • Explains the bizarre conclusions of relativity - from space and time contraction to the famous 'Twin Paradox' - in an accessible and clear way
  • Shows how relativity isn't just applicable to abstract, far-flung physics - it not only has implications in the study of the cosmos, black holes, and gravitational lensing, but also has applications in everyday technologies such as GPS
  • Explores the very latest developments and experiments in the field

100 years ago, Einstein's theory of relativity shattered the world of physics. Our comforting Newtonian ideas of space and time were replaced by bizarre and counterintuitive conclusions: if you move at high speed, time slows down, space squashes up and you get heavier; travel fast enough and you could weigh as much as a jumbo jet, be squashed thinner than a CD without feeling a thing - and live for ever. And that was just the Special Theory. With the General Theory came even stranger ideas of curved space-time, and changed our understanding of gravity and the cosmos. 
This authoritative and entertaining Very Short Introduction makes the theory of relativity accessible and understandable. Using very little mathematics, Russell Stannard explains the important concepts of relativity, from E=mc2 to black holes, and explores the theory's impact on science and on our understanding of the universe.


1: Special relativity
The Principle of Relativity and the speed of light
Time dilation
The Twin Paradox
Length contraction
Loss of simultaneity
Space-time diagrams
Four-dimensional spacetime
The ultimate speed
2: General Relativity
The Equivalence Principle
The effects on time of acceleration and gravity
The bending of light
Curved space
Black holes
Gravitational Waves
The Universe
Further reading


Russell Stannard is Emeritus Professor of Physics at The Open University where for 21 years he headed the Physics Department. A high energy nuclear physicist, he has carried out research at CERN and Geneva, as well as other laboratories in the USA and Europe. Among his awards he has the OBE, he received the Bragg Medal from the Institute of Physics, and been made Fellow of University College London. A prolific writer for both adults and children, his books are translated into 20 languages and have been shortlisted for many scientific book prizes. He is perhaps best known for his Uncle Albert books which explain relativity and quantum mechanics for young people.


ISBN : 9780199236220

Russell Stannard
128 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Relativity: A Very Short Introduction [#190]

Relativity: A Very Short Introduction [#190]

Relativity: A Very Short Introduction [#190]