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Boltzmann and rest of science interessted guys please get in!

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Hi mates!
Last night i came across article about Albert E. and relativity theory. It was pretty short and most about story behind it and with a few examples like:
"Time is not the same at the top and the bottom of Eiffel tower" and "Light always travels at same speed, even if we were to come up to 99% of its speed it would still travel 300 000 km/s away from us" and such things. I thought it great fun that I couldn't possibly grasp it or any of other theories (looks like I'm more of a Newton guy)
So now I need your help with this for starters... Relativity theory and all this different time at different speeds stuff. Any good books and/or web sites that try to explain this stuff. I'm not that stupid but I'm faaaar from educated but this stuff interest me and I'm ready to stop reading "Song Of Fire And Ice" (Great stuff thanks MaZa if you read this) just to find out more about this stuff :)
Thank you for your time!
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Last I checked, Einstein told us it was clearly impossible to travel faster than the speed of light. We would have to become Energy to do so, which I do believe is where E=MC² comes into play.

E = Energy
M = Mass
C² = Speed of light squared

Anyway, books and stuff I don't know about. Amazon is a good start, and so is Google. MSN Encarta is another good place to look it up in.
What is your background in math and physics? I mean, do you understand college-level math? I'm asking this in order to know which books to recommend.

Are you interested in fully technical explanations or just intuitive expositions of the concepts? Keep in mind that the full technicalities are much harder than the intuitive explanations.

Well, if you do have the appropriate background in math ( math, I can go in details if you want) there're two books that will explain in all mathematically excruciating details what general relativity is all about:

Gravitation and Cosmology : Principles and Applications of the General Theory of Relativity, by Steven Weinberg;
Gravitation , by Kip Thorne et al.

Both are massive tomes, and will require a lot of effort and math knowledge to be digested. I've learned most of what I currently know about GR from reading these books. There're other great textbooks out there, but these two are widely recommended and very comprehensive.

If you don't feel up to this technical challenge right now, check out Schutz' A First Course In General Relativity . It's much more understandable, so you could begin with; provided you have sufficient knowledge in math and physics (classical mechanics and vector calculus are a must).

Now, if you're interested in popular, intuitive explanations, I stronly urge you to read Lawrence M.Krauss' The Physics of Star Trek . I read this book when I was 14, and it gave me my interest for physics.

Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality also provide excellent intuitive explanations of the concepts behind Quantum physics and General Relativity.

For another amazing book, written by an even more amazing physicist, check out Richard Feynman's The Character of Physical Law. You won't be disappointed.

And if you've a good understanding of spoken english, and has some background in math and physics (they'll always haunt you :p ) check out The Feynman Lectures on Physics: The Complete Audio Collection: Volume 13: Feynman on Fields . As the name implies it's an audio book.


If you google for General Relativity, I'm sure you'll find lots of resources online for it. Pay special attention to pages hosted in known universities as they're usually clearer (and get away from the crackpots who offer wildly new technologies based on relativity and quantum physics; they're all quacks).

You could begin checking out Wikipedia's article on General Relativity . It's well written, and has a section for online resources.

I hope this helps you ;)
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