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1 point

·
14th Mar 2018

There have been many developments since, but it makes sense to start with the original source material.

1 point

·
3rd Feb 2018

Einstein himself wrote a book for the non-scientist to explain both special and general relativity. Here is the preface, which explains the level of the book:

> The present book is intended, as far as possible, to give an exact insight into the theory of Relativity to those readers who, from a general scientific and philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics. The work presumes a standard of education corresponding to that of a university matriculation examination , and, despite the shortness of the book, a fair amount of patience and force of will on the part of the reader. The author has spared himself no pains in his endeavour to present the main ideas in the simplest and most intelligible form, and on the whole, in the sequence and connection in which they actually originated. In the interest of clearness, it appeared to me inevitable that I should repeat myself frequently, without paying the slightest attention to the elegance of the presentation. I adhered scrupulously to the precept of that brilliant theoretical physicist L. Boltzmann, according to whom matters of elegance ought to be left to the tailor and to the cobbler. I make no pretence of having withheld from the reader difficulties which are inherent to the subject. On the other hand, I have purposely treated the empirical physical foundations of the theory in a "step-motherly" fashion, so that readers unfamiliar with physics may not feel like the wanderer who was unable to see the forest for the trees. May the book bring some one a few happy hours of suggestive thought!

The book is called "Relativity: The Special and the General Theory", and is available for free on Project Gutenberg.

I'd suggest considering getting that and trying to read it. With the math you already know you should be able to get quite a bit out of it. And if you do get stuck on the math somewhere, well, that will give you an idea of what math to study next to get unstuck.

Here is a Project Gutenberg copy of the 3rd edition in PDF and TeX made via OCR of the physical book. =>LINK<=.

Here is a copy that is available in HTML, MS Word, and TeX. I'm not sure what edition this is. =>LINK<=.

There's a Kindle version of the 3rd edition of this on Amazon for $0.99 that is good. Books with math are often terrible on Kindle due to publishers sometimes doing the equations as small image files that are hard to read and ugly if you zoom them. This one, though, is specifically touted as being "with readable equations", and they are right.

Unless you actually want to read on a Kindle there is no advantage that I can see that it has over either of the Gutenberg copies I listed earlier. If you do want to read on a Kindle and are willing to cough up $0.99, here is the link: =>LINK<=.

Another free resource that might be worth taking a look at is the special relativity material in the Feynman Lectures. They use a little more calculus than the Einstein book (I think), and may use more trigonometry than you have at this point, but as with the Einstein book I think you might get quite a bit out of it even if you decide at some point you need more math to go on.

The special relativity material starts at chapter 15 in Volume 1. Volume 1 can be read online =>HERE<=.

Finally, you might take a look at these video lectures: =>LINK<=

They are from a series of courses called "The Theoretical Minimum". Here's their description:

> *The Theoretical Minimum* is a series of Stanford Continuing Studies courses taught by world renowned physicist Leonard Susskind. These courses collectively teach everything required to gain a basic understanding of each area of modern physics including all of the fundamental mathematics.

The first three lecture series, (1) classical mechanics, (2) quantum mechanics, and (3) special relativity and classical field theory have been released in book form, and just today I was thumbing through the book for the special relativity series at Barnes & Noble and *almost* bought it, but I didn't and don't remember enough from my bookstore browsing to tell you what that math level was. (I did not buy it because it was $30 in store, compared to around $21 if ordered from B&N online, or $19 from Amazon...I'll pay a little over the online price to support brick & mortar bookstores, but not 40+% over!).

< $50

$100 - $200

< $50