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The Evolution of Physics: From Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,289 ratings  ·  80 reviews
For the alternate cover edition by Simon & Schuster, see here

Clear and concise explanations of the development of theories explaining physical phenomena.
Paperback, 330 pages
Published October 30th 1967 by Touchstone (first published 1938)
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Thomas Freeman
Sep 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the explanations given in this book. The author is Einstien but the writing is Infeld. He worked very closely with Einstien.

They begin with basic mechanics and work their way through field physics, special and general relativity and then finally to quantum mechanics. All of this is done without mathematic equations. It is all explained through analogies, theories and explanation or real world experiments.

It is a very interesting read if for no other reason than to see the devel
Anna Hiller
Feb 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dad
Recommended to Anna by: Marybeth
Shelves: physics
This book is so polite! Written in 1938, apparently more by Infeld than by Einstein, it is exceedingly proper and therefore delightful, as well as thorough. It is a beautiful book, very clear and precise, and should be read by all armchair physicists with a serious hankering to understand relativity theory, as well as the importance of the quantum theory.
مديحة حوري
كنز من التجارب الذهنية
تدرج الأفكار ومتى نقرر أن نظرية ما، أصبحت غير صالحة
تجربة تحول الفيزياء الى درراسة بنية الحقل
الفيزياء والمراجع العطالية وعلاقة كليهما بالهندسة
الهيولة، الأثير، الحراة، درجة الحرارة، الطاقة، المادة، الكتلة،العالة، الثقالة، السرعة، المسافة و الزمن

كتاب قمة
Tariq Fadel
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب فيزيائي جميل ومفيد للغاية. اعجبني التسلسل الزمني للاكتشافات الفيزيائية وكيف ان كل نظرية جديدة تحل مشكلة ولكن تقدم مشاكل جديدة. فعمل الفيزيائي هو كعمل محقق من حيث وظع نظريات ودراسة الادلة ولهذا يبدو الكتاب كانه رواية بوليسية. الترجمة للغة غير لغة الكتابة الاصلية جعل بعض المصطلحات مبهمة وبالتالي جعل الكتاب الى حد ما عسير الفهم. شخصيا لم استفد كثيرا من القراءة عن النسبية وميكانيكا الكم كونها مرت علي هذا الافكار وبشكل اوضح من قبل، ولكن اعجبني مراجعة الافكار الفيزيائية الكلاسيكية كالحرارة والطاق ...more
Steve Bolin
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Interesting book. Most of it was written by Leopold Infeld who was a colleague of Einstein and a fellow refugee from Europe. Infeld could not get a permanent appointment at Princeton due to a bitter rivalry within the Physics department so he came up with the idea of writing a popular, non mathematical monograph explaining the history of physics. Einstein readily agreed and this allowed Infeld to obtain a secure source of funding. Einstein's name appears first only because his was the better kno ...more
Ali Reda
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics
نحن لا نستطيع أن نبنى علما دون أن نعتقد بإمكانية إدراك الحقيقة من خلال منشآتنا النظرية ودون أن نوقن بوجود تناغم داخلى في العالم الذي نرصده. إن هذا الإيمان كان وسيظل الباعث الرئيسى لكل إبداع علمي. فمن خلال كل مجهوداتنا، نلمح الطموح إلى الفهم والايمان الراسخ بتناغم عناصر الوجود ، ذلك الايمان الصامد أمام كل العقبات التى تحول دون إدراك الحقيقة.
Baris Balcioglu
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bu kitabı 1995 civarında arkadaşım İnanç'tan almıştım ve o zamandan beri Ankara'da annemlerdeki kütüphanede bekledi. İlk okuduğum popüler bilim kitabı Carl Sagan'ın Kozmos'unu da ondan almıştım ama bu kitabı bir biçimde okumaktan korktum. Bu yılbaşında gözüme ilişince sahibine geri vermek üzere aldım ve okudum. Birçok yerinde FL'de öğrendiğim konuları anımsamak ve o zamanlar anlamadığım bazı şeyleri anlamak güzel olduysa da, hâlâ ilişkinlik/görelilik/relativite kuramını anlamış değilim. Parçaçcı ...more
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Einstein has a reputation not only as a physicist, but as a humanitarian. The clarity and style of this book reinforces the reputation.

Slowly, carefully and with great concern that the reader not be left behind, Einstein and his co-author tell what could be a bewildering tale by demonstrating how the science of the physical relationship of things evolved.

It did so for the reason that all science evolves: questions, in being answered, pose further questions. The pursuit of the unknown, with the n
Mengsen Zhang
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely awesome! In my mind, this book is more about psychology or cognition rather than physics. I love books whose plots are connected by logic rather than irrelevant story telling.
More precisely, this book is about how human "create" knowledge and the nature of reality. There is in fact no force, no field, no charge. All we have is motion, along with, at best, the tendency of motion. The "scientific" concepts are artificially created to, and only to, classify unrelated events that only ma
ابراهیم توللی
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
تاریخ علم فیزیک از زبان اینشتین شنیدن دارد. این کتاب به ما میآموزد که مفاهیم علمی به چه شکلی در مواجههی ما با طبیعت و برای فهم بهتر آن تولید میشوند و رشد میکنند. ضمنا نظریات فیزیکی در همین دویست سیصد سال اخیر چقدر عوض شدهاند و در یک روند رشدی چقدر از مفاهیم و نظریات به کناری ریخته شدهاند.
این کتاب برای آشنایی مفهومی و فارغ از ریاضی با نظریات فیزیکی از زمان نیوتن تا زمان خود اینشتین هم خوب است.
نکتهی جالب این که حتی یک نام هم از اینشتین در این تاریخ نویسی نیامده در صورتی که میدانیم اینشتین در همهی
Erdogan Cicek
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
The book is briefly and clearly explains the transition of the physical phenomenas from classical to modern area and why we should think so in order to improve our way of vision..
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a pretty good explanation of the history of physics, from Galileo to quantum theory. It is set out in a fairly comprehensible manner, and there are a lot of analogies used. This isn't going to help you much with exams but it's a great way to get your head round the overall structure of physics.
Kinan Diraneyya
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: natural-science
The book presents very good explanation of how our understanding of physics changed since the 18th century, although ,unlike what you expect from a book discussing the evolution of a certain topic, this one doesn't actually pay that much attention to names and debates, instead, it goes about experiments in an abstract manner, to a point where you can't be sure if one particular experiments was actually attempted or if it is purely hypothetical.

This is one of those books that almost contain zero
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, i-have-in-de
One of the best books to understand the nature of physics! No need of previous scientific background.
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I first picked this book up thinking that it would provide a broad overview of the entire history of Physics. I really wanted Einstein's take on Aristotle, Lucretius and maybe even the pre-Socratics in a sweeping history of scientific thought. On this account, I was sorely disappointed. Einstein summarily dismisses all physics prior to Galileo, and I almost summarily dismissed the book as a result. It sat on my shelf for about two years until I recently picked it up thinking I needed a new way o ...more
Abdulrahman Algendy
هذا الكتاب رغم قدمه ولكني استمتعت كثيرا بقراءته واستفدت أكثر ، أنا لا أعلم مدى مشاركة تلميذ أينشتاين في الكتابة ولكني أستطيع ان أرى أسلوب أينشتاين في الشرح وإيصال الفكرة بكل موضوعية ، فقد بدأ بشرح تطور علوم الطبيعة منذ جاليليو وحتى ميكانيكا الكم وبداياتها على عهده ، وقد فعل ذلك بكل حياد وموضوعية دون أن يحتقر أو يتجاهل قوانين نيوتن والمياكنيكا الكلاسيكية بشكل عام ، بل أكد على أهميتها وعلى أن النسبية سواء العامة أو الخاصة ماهي إلا تعميم للميكانيكا الكلاسيكية ورؤية أفضل لعلوم الطبيعة ، وأسلوبه في إ ...more
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physics
An accessible, straightforward journey through the rise and fall of various theories at the heart of physics, from Newton's time to the early 20th century era of Einstein and Infeld. Although "rise and fall" is not quite accurate; the authors stress that new theories tend to broaden the scope of the old theories rather than upending them entirely. Thus, for example, today we freely make use of Newtonian mechanics when dealing with non-relativistic speeds, or use Maxwell's equations when the elec ...more
Nov 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book offers two things:
1. A summary of physics, from classical mechanics, to field theory, general relativity and quantum theory (as it was understood in 1938 when the book was first published). The presentation is oriented towards laymen and avoids using any mathematical formulas. The explanations of the basic ideas of physics are marvelously clear and straightforward. However, the self-imposed strict avoidance of math, although probably appealing to the wide audience, sometimes resulted i
Rosa Ramôa
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"da Teoria da Relatividade,depreende-se que massa e energia não são senão manifestações diferentes do mesmo fenómeno,um conceito pouco familiar para uma inteligência comum.Explicando a equação E igual a mc ao quadrado,na qual a energia é igual à massa multiplicada pelo quadrado da velocidade da luz,mostra que pequenas quantidades de massa podem ser convertidas numa grande quantidade de energia,e vice-versa.A massa e a energia são,de facto,equivalentes,de acordo com a formula mencionada.Isto foi ...more
Ahmed Alhefny
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
باختصار: إذا أردت فهم مضمون النظرية النسبية فعليك بهذا الكتاب.
Tố Nga
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Các bộ sách về vật lý luôn đầy ắp các công thức toán học phức tạp. Nhưng khởi nguồn của mỗi lý thuyết vật lý đều đến từ sự suy tư, từ các ý tưởng chứ không phải từ những công thức. Sau đó, các ý tưởng này phải được diễn đạt dưới hình thức toán học của một lý thuyết có tính định lượng để có thể được so sánh với thực nghiệm." - Albert Einstein & Leopold Infeld, trích "Sự tiến hóa của vật lý".

Đây là một quyển sách tuyệt vời, vẽ nên một bức tranh toàn cảnh về quá trình tiến hóa của Vật lý. Từ n
Antoine Patt
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Einstein, through this book, unfolds the intricated lines of ideas that forged what is today's physics understanding. It gives a rather clear insight of why people put their faith and reason in some theories, and casted shadows of disapprovement on others. But the most interesting in my opinion is to learn more about the tipping points before each thought revolution. Those periods were highly tensed from the intellectual point of view. They reflect how difficult it can be for new and counterintu ...more
Chris Riddick
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! This should be required reading for all freshman physics majors in college. I only wish I had read this book when I first began my college program in physics and math. It would have helped lay the groundwork for all the the courses I took, setting everything in context. This book leads the student through the thought processes, experimentation, and theoretical work that got us from the early scientific age into the modern era of physics. Concepts with which students struggle are ...more
Youssef Al Amri
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
مشاركة أينشتاين في تأليف الكتاب كافية لوحدها لجذب القاري للكتاب
الكتاب مختلف في طرحه للنظريات الفيزيائية فهو لا يسردها ككتب المناهج الدراسية بل يناقش الأفكار التي أوصلت العلماء لتبني هذه النظريات
كذلك يناقش المسلمات ويبين كيف تخلى عنها الفيزيائيون بعدما لم تستطيع الصمود أمام الأفكار الجديدة
يعيب الكتاب ترجمة المصطلحات العلمية حيث استخدم المترجم مصطلحات لم أعهدها من قبل وكان من الأفضل لو ارفق المترجم المصطلح الإنجليزي بالعربي الذي استخدمه.

الكتاب أحياناً يكون مشوق جداً وأحياناً تشعر بالملل وتارة يكو
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, not-fiction
La dimostrazione di come non sia necessario utilizzare un linguaggio complesso e autoreferenziale per esporre argomenti complessi, e di come basti poco per far comprendere a chiunque concetti fisici alla base della Scienza moderna. Fondamentale per chiunque sia interessato all'argomento, adatto sia ai profani che agli addetti ai lavori.
Un'ottima lettura consigliatami da un altrettanto ottimo insegnante di Fisica del quale conservo uno splendido ricordo. Ce ne fossero di più di docenti universit
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este é um livro realmente importante na física do século XX. Einstein explica claramente onde a relatividade se coloca diante do corpo de conhecimentos anteriores da física.
Pessoalmente foi uma leitura marcante. Li pela primeira vez aos 15 anos e muitas vezes depois. Já dei o livro de presente para muitas pessoas. A clareza das explicações, a lógica, a simplicidade são o meu modelo de física bem contada.
Jonathan Rodriguez Lopez
Me encanto, la forma de explicar conceptos un tanto complicados de una manera mas sencilla. Los ejemplos que se plasman son muy digeribles, y ahí creo, que se halla la magia de este libro.

Recomendado para aquellos que, desean profundizar en temas de física, desde la mecánica clásica hasta la teoría de la relatividad, adentrándose un poco mas en en el dinámico mundo de la física cuántica.
Mark Leone
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The path Einstein takes the reader down as he describes our world in ever more detail, starting with Galileo and Newton and ending with Bohr and Heisenberg, is an amazing journey eloquently relayed in plain understandable language.
In my opinion, modern textbook authors could be much more effective if they followed his example.
Fred Kohn
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
I once read a book of essays by Einstein and the writing was horrible to follow. I have heard similar stories about Einstein's book on relativity. The book, on the other hand, was a joy to read. No doubt this is due to Einstein's co-author.
Craig Zamboni
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The second generation of physics. Relativity, Special Relativity and Quantum theory explained by the genus himself. A classic in the annuals of scientific literature. Must read for all who love pure science and the theory behind how our universe works.
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How much math is enough? Too much? 1 7 Feb 22, 2014 04:43PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Cover Confusion 5 166 Aug 20, 2012 11:02PM  
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In 1879, Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Zurich by 1909. His 1905 paper explaining the photoelectric effect, the basis of electronics, earned him the Nobel Prize in 1921. His first paper on Special Relativity Theory, also published in 1905, changed the world. After the rise of the Nazi party, Einstein made Princeton his permanent home, becoming ...more
“Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value, elly judgments of all kinds remain necessary.” 18 likes
“The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS [coordinate system] could be used with equal justification. The two sentences, “the Sun is at rest and the Earth moves,” or “the Sun moves and the Earth is at rest,” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS.” 0 likes
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