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Einstein's Masterwork

1915 and the General Theory of Relativity

John Gribbin


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (10/17/2017)


One of the world's most celebrated science writers reveals the origins of Einstein's General Theory—and provides a greater understanding of who Einstein was at the time of this pivotal achievement.

In 1915, Albert Einstein presented his masterwork to the Prussian Academy of Sciences—a theory of gravity, matter, space and time: the General Theory of Relativity. Einstein himself said it was “the most valuable theory of my life,” and “of incomparable beauty.” It describes the evolution of the universe, black holes, the behavior of orbiting neutron stars, and why clocks run slower on the surface of the earth than in space. It even suggests the possibility of time travel.

And yet when we think of Einstein's breakthrough year, we think instead of 1905, the year of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and his equation E=mc2, as his annus mirabilis, even though the Special Theory has a narrower focus.

Today the General Theory is overshadowed by these achievements, regarded as 'too difficult' for ordinary mortals to comprehend. In Einstein's Masterwork, John Gribbin puts Einstein's astonishing breakthrough in the context of his life and work, and makes it clear why his greatest year was indeed 1915 and his General Theory his true masterpiece.

Praise For Einstein's Masterwork: 1915 and the General Theory of Relativity

"An engrossing read.
— Forbes

"A beautifully written and highly accessible account of the genesis of a great theory."
— Physics World

"A prolific British science writer examines the creation of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. Gribbin checks all the boxes. Readers will find this shorter biography entirely satisfactory."
— Kirkus Reviews

"Steering mercifully clear of the mathematical complexities, Gribbin explores the ways [Einstein’s general theory] has illuminated a wide range of cosmic phenomena. A must-read for armchair physicists."
— Booklist (starred)

Pegasus Books, 9781681772127, 240pp.

Publication Date: September 6, 2016

About the Author

John Gribbin, Ph.D., trained as an astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of several books, including the highly acclaimed In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, and the co-author of Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science. He lives in East Sussex with his wife and two sons.