They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. But what about relativity?Physics professor Chad Orzel and his inquisitive canine companion, Emmy, tackle the concepts of general relativity in this irresistible introduction to Einstein's physics. Read more...
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. But what about relativity?Physics professor Chad Orzel and his inquisitive canine companion, Emmy, tackle the concepts of general relativity in this irresistible introduction to Einstein's physics. Through armchair--and sometimes passenger-seat--conversations with Emmy about the relative speeds of dog and cat motion or the logistics of squirrel-chasing, Orzel translates complex Einsteinian ideas--the slowing of time for a moving observer, the shrinking of moving objects, the effects of gravity on light and time, black holes, the Big Bang, and of course, E=mc2--into examples simple enough for a dog to understand. A lively romp through one of the great theories of modern physics, How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about space, time, and anything else you might have slept through in high school physics class.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-12-12
- Reviewer: Staff
Physics professor Orzel follows his How to Teach Physics to Your Dog with a compact and instructive walk through Einstein’s theory of relativity, using the same conceit of lecturing to his preternaturally intelligent and curious dog, Emma. Orzel enthusiastically tackles this elusive subject in chapters with titles like “Time Slows When You’re Chasing Bunnies” and “The Unified Theory of Critters.” The cuteness quotient is high, but the dialogues between author and dog are helpful in explaining the difficult and counterintuitive aspects of relativity. Whether Orzel is writing about the Michelson-Morley experiments, which challenged the previously held notion of universal time and prepared the world of physics for Einstein’s breakthrough, or Einstein’s most famous equation, E=mc2, the prose is breezy and straightforward, and the material well organized. But there is no getting around the subject matter’s difficulty, and while Orzel’s explanatory diagrams featuring the ever-present Emma help readers visualize the abstract theory, the concepts remain challenging. Relativity constantly amazes, and the glimpses of understanding provide rewarding and satisfying moments. B&w illus. Agent: Erin Hosier, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Mar.)