# Albert einstein special and general theory of relativity

## Relativity: The Special and the General Theory by Albert Einstein

**An accesible version of Einsteins masterpiece of theory, written by the genius himself**

According to Einstein himself, this book is intended 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. When he wrote the book in 1916, Einsteins name was scarcely known outside the physics institutes. Having just completed his masterpiece, The General Theory of Relativity—which provided a brand-new theory of gravity and promised a new perspective on the cosmos as a whole—he set out at once to share his excitement with as wide a public as possible in this popular and accessible book.

Here published for the first time as a Penguin Classic, this edition of

*Relativity*features a new introduction by bestselling science author Nigel Calder.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

## Einstein's Theory of General Relativity

Albert Einstein was famous for many things, but his greatest brainchild is the theory of relativity. It forever changed our understanding of space and time. What is relativity? Succinctly put, it is the notion that the laws of physics are the same everywhere. We here on Earth obey the same laws of light and gravity as someone in a far off corner of the universe.

In , Albert Einstein determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and that the speed of light in a vacuum was independent of the motion of all observers. This was the theory of special relativity. It introduced a new framework for all of physics and proposed new concepts of space and time. Einstein then spent 10 years trying to include acceleration in the theory and published his theory of general relativity in In it, he determined that massive objects cause a distortion in space-time, which is felt as gravity.

## Experimental evidence

The theory of relativity usually encompasses two interrelated theories by Albert Einstein : special relativity and general relativity. General relativity explains the law of gravitation and its relation to other forces of nature. The theory transformed theoretical physics and astronomy during the 20th century, superseding a year-old theory of mechanics created primarily by Isaac Newton. In the field of physics, relativity improved the science of elementary particles and their fundamental interactions, along with ushering in the nuclear age. With relativity, cosmology and astrophysics predicted extraordinary astronomical phenomena such as neutron stars , black holes , and gravitational waves. Albert Einstein published the theory of special relativity in , building on many theoretical results and empirical findings obtained by Albert A. Max Planck , Hermann Minkowski and others did subsequent work.

How Einstein moved from his special theory of relativity to general relativity a decade later, via a brainwave he had at his day job.