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God's Equation: Einstein, Relativity, and the Expanding Universe | [Amir D. Aczel]

God's Equation: Einstein, Relativity, and the Expanding Universe

The product of research around the globe and interviews with dozens of prominent scientists, God's Equation tells us it is almost as though Einstein were God's mouthpiece, revealing the most fundamental truths about our larger environment, truths scientists are just now confirming.
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Publisher's Summary

The product of research around the globe and interviews with dozens of prominent scientists, God's Equation discusses the latest developments in cosmology, the study of the nature of the universe. Using Einstein and his theories to explain the links between relativity and cosmology via Einstein's "cosmological constant," Aczel tells us it is almost as though Einstein were God's mouthpiece, revealing the most fundamental truths about our larger environment, truths scientists are just now confirming. And yet Aczel reveals a side of Einstein - the man - no one else has brought to light. Aczel is the first to have translated certain letters of Einstein, in private hands until recently. These letters cast a new spin on Einstein's relationship with other scientists and his early efforts to prove his revolutionary theory that a strong gravitational force will make light bend.

Executive Producer: Orli Moscowitz
Producer: Lisa Cahn
Jacket design: Julie Metz
Cover photo of Albert Einstein © Corbis-Bettmann
Author photo: Debra Aczel
©1999 Amir D. Aczel
(P)2000 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

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3.9 (447 )
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4.2 (61 )
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3.9 (62 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert Encino, CA, United States 04-03-04
    Robert Encino, CA, United States 04-03-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    92
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    "More biography than science"

    I was somewhat disappointed with this book, although I am otherwise a fan of this author. I purchased the book hoping for a history of the most famous equation in physics, but found that it was a somewhat disjointed history of Einstein's struggle to develop general relativity. While the insights into Einstein as a person are interesting, approach this as biography, not science.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louis Ellwood City, PA, United States 03-31-04
    Louis Ellwood City, PA, United States 03-31-04 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    "more biography than science"

    While some reviewers lament the the lack of scientific detail, "God's Equations" was never meant to be a physics textbook. Nor should the reader be misled by the title into thinking there is much theology here. What we have is a good historical overview of how the man who shaped modern science developed his theories.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Birmingham, United Kingdom 04-18-05
    Joseph Birmingham, United Kingdom 04-18-05 Member Since 2004

    52, retired soldier and surgeon. Teach Combat Surgery and Military History and hold the rank of Brigadier. Lost wife, love dogs, ski to fast

    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
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    "This is not just for egg heads - its a great read"

    What an excellent piece of work. I can not recommend it enough. There have been paragraphs written about it already, so I can only put my own personal perspective on it. Giants of science are shown as people, with characters and doubts and misgivings about there conclusions and proofs. Your shown how they arrived at final deliberations. Although primarily about Einstein it touches on the lives and goings on of all them people around him. How they discussed with others and tried again in various ways to see if what they believed was true. How they reasoned there way out of logical dead ends. Its well written and well narrated. Is it just for egg heads?, well no. My wife enjoyed it all the way to Scotland and although a wonderful and charming woman, she is no boffin, and we still discuss its ideas at dinner now. Perhaps thats the best measure of any book, for it to live with you long after its been read. Well done Mr Aczel

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben Mapleton, UT, USA 11-14-03
    Ben Mapleton, UT, USA 11-14-03
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    "Good Book"

    I enjoyed this book and felt I learned alot about Einstein and how he revolutionized physics. The relativity concepts were well presented and easy to understand. I could even see myself listening to this again. Highly recommended.

    34 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank North Carolina 08-28-05
    Frank North Carolina 08-28-05 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You do not want to listen to this book"

    I love science, and I am particularly fascinated with relativity, its development, and its impact. That having been said, this audiobook was painful.

    The author did not know whether he wanted to dumb down the science or play it straight. As a result, the book includes both rough analogies and numerous equations. If you want to have equations full of Greek letters with subscripts READ TO YOU, this is the book for you, but I would not recommend it.

    Moreover, although the author endeavored to talk about the people involved in the development of relativity, I question the aspects he chose to describe at length. Personally, I do not care about which apartments Einstein occupied. I also thought the details about the expeditions to photograph eclipses to prove Einstein's general theory was excessive.

    In addition, I felt the narration was very, very dry.

    If you want to listen to an excellent book on science that is both well-written and well-presented, that explains the science in a clear, understandable, and witty fashion, and that recounts fascinating stories about the scientists who made the discoveries, get Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" (unabridged) - skip "God's Equation."

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Whitten Los Angeles, CA USA 01-26-04
    R. Whitten Los Angeles, CA USA 01-26-04 Listener Since 2000

    bobwhitten

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting, but a difficult"

    If you want some background on Einstein, this is great. But, it's hard to hear equations read. Too bad in those cases you can't look back at something to see this level of information.

    But it was interesting til the end, and I enjoyed it. Hard to recommend though because of the distraction of the equations. Hard to see it in your mind's eye, as it were.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Sunnyvale, CA, USA 05-16-05
    Larry Sunnyvale, CA, USA 05-16-05
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    "Enjoyable from beginning to end"

    The narration is perfect, and content is rich, above my head at times, but that doesn't mean I don't want to try to understand, and I gained a lot of understanding about what Einstein's general theory of relativity is. One of the more fascinating parts of the book is the description of how the theory was proven using eclipes of the sun. Highly recommended for anyone who finds this sort of stuff interesting.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Tulsa, OK, United States 05-20-04
    Terry Tulsa, OK, United States 05-20-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pushed me scientifically"

    A good recounting of the life of a formative man in the world's history. If you are not aqainted with the details of Einstien's life you will learn a lot. If you are not bent toward the scientific there will be a healthy dose of formula's and equations that will challenge you.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Santa Cruz, CA, USA 02-04-04
    Stephen Santa Cruz, CA, USA 02-04-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Witty, engaging, fun, mind expanding"

    I have listened to the book twice and will listen again. Everytime I have listened I pick up some new ways to see things. I have a degree in Physics and this book added to my knowledge and understanding. It also creates a great picture of Einstein and other great scientist, making them all just as human as us.

    I highly recommend this book.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Silver Spring, MD, USA 01-10-06
    William Silver Spring, MD, USA 01-10-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Clear exposition, Math included"

    I enjoyed the clear exposition of the basic concepts around relativity and how they were developed. For the neophyte the balance is well struck between accessible examples and meaningful mathematics. The terms are well explained, and hearing equations read is no more painful than having to read them - in fact somewhat less so. I also liked the intentional suspense (such as the stories of the eclipse expeditions) inserted into the narrative to give it a little more zing. We forget what those kind of expeditions entailed.

    Yes, the narration is "dry" - but it seems appropriate for the text, and it added to the clarity.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Simon Pegg
    12/4/06
    Overall
    "Tedious in the extreme"

    The only audio book I have not finished. The narrator has the most tedious monotone I have heard and the book lacks compelling narrative.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
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