Relativity Readings

Before listing some of my favorite books related to relativity, let me emphasize that they are not required for the class. Depending on your background, interests, and inclinations, they can be useful supplements.

Edwin Taylor and John Wheeler, Spacetime Physics, W.H. Freeman & Co. (ISBN: 0716723271)
The class makes extensive use of this book. It is readable and fun. I strongly recommend it.
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Albert Einstein, Relativity, Crown Publishers (ISBN: 0517884410)
Relativity explained by its author.
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Einstein, et al., The Principle of Relativity, Dover Publications (ISBN: 0486600815)
This book is an anthology of the early papers on relativity by its originators (Einstein, Lorentz, Minkowski, and Weyl).
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Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, Bantam Books (ISBN: 0553380168)
A bestseller that gives a good overview of some of the advanced topics.
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Kip Thorne, Black Holes and Time Warps, W. W. Norton (ISBN: 0393312763)
A wide-ranging book that covers everything you want to know about black holes and other exotica of General Relativity.
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Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland, Dover (ISBN: 048627263X)
An amusing introduction to multi-dimensional space. Helpful in understanding spacetime.
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This book is available as e-text at Project Gutenberg.

George Gamow, Mr Tompkins in Paperback, Cambridge (ISBN: 0521447712)
Brings relativity and quantum mechanics into the realm of everyday experience through the adventures of Mr. Tompkins, a British bank clerk.
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Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time, Farrar Straus & Giroux (ISBN: 0374386137)
This was published as a children's story, but is a delightful tale of space and time with appeal for readers of all ages.
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Also available in paperback.

These books can be obtained at your local bookstore or one of the many online stores. They are offered for sale in association with Just click on the blue hypertext above to purchase one of the books on the reading list. There are more relativity books available through the DrPhysics store at

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