Executive Producer: Karen DiMattia
©2000 David Bodanis
(P)2002 Random House, Inc.
"It's a well-known equation, yet who but physicists really understand E=mc2? Bodanis rescues the masses from ignorance in an entertaining story about Einstein's formulation of the equation in 1905 and its association ever after with relativity and nuclear energy." (Booklist)
As entertaining as it is enlightening. A thoroughly enjoyable experience, and well-read by the narrator. I now have a greater understanding of the bomb, nuclear power, fusion vs fission, and insights into the people who brought forth the new physics.
My favorite book about effects and meaning of Einstein's equation. The big epiphany for me was: why MC SQUARED? Wasn't the speed of light fast enough already? The book explained that. And the millisecond-by-millisecond description of the Hiroshima bomb explosion was unforgettable.
This book truly lives up to its stated goal to explain what this famous equation means. The author explains each aspect in an easily understood manner and I enjoyed the illustrations and scientific history behind what led to these great discoveries. If you enjoy science but do not want to be overwhelmed, this is a great read!
This book is worth a listen. The author does a good job explaining Einstein's central idea and how it relates to everything around us. There is a good mix of history and science. If you want to understand E=mc2, grab this book.
If you have ever wondered about the equation E=MC2, this book does an excellent job of explaining it to any novice in physics. Excellently written and presented.
The many tangents of this 'biography' were quite enlightening. The people contributing to the discoveries, the proof, the dis-proofs were fasinating. The politics alone made for interesting reading and insight I had not previously imaged. I had also hoped for the book to be entertaining but that was not to be. Certainly it had not promised that but still I was disappointed somehow. If one goes into this text with little understanding of physics and math structure, one will probably not derive too much from it. Conversely, if one possesses a fair understanding of these concepts, the text will fall short. That is the nature of the beast I suspect. Still, I would recommend it and suggest one expect only a little and be pleasantly uplifted.
When the author sticks to physics, the book is excellent. When he takes leaps of ignorance and bashes (mildly) Christianity and the Bible, he cheapens himself and leads the listener astray. It is painful enough to listen to "billions of years of age" theory talk...just stick to the subject which is "E=MC2".
This would definitely be a good buy if you this is your first pulp science book, or if you have absolutely no idea what the letters in E=mc2 stand for. If you know absolutely anything about science, skip this one in favor of a more advanced book.
Bodanis has surely succeeded in fulfilling the challenge presented in the book's opening chapter, teaching Cameron Diaz (and the reader) what E=MC2 really means.
As an avid science reader I am often lost to the words of science writers who fail to translate their concepts clearly or confuse the reader with their lack of metaphor and context. This book was a gem. While I agree with the assessment about the book focusing on A-Bomb development a little too much (frankly, this IS the outcome of the equation and to snub the massive slaughter with a quick reference would be unthinkable), I wasn't aware of any religion bashing....but then again I don't actively look for opportunities to defend the flying spagetti monster either.
Moderately interesting, this book provides a general explanation of relativity which isn't bad nor is it very original. The book then becomes a superficial history of the development of the A-bomb laden with some revisionist opinions. Overall, the book lacks focus and readers can find better material on each of its several subjects.
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