We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition Lecture

Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition

"It doesn't take an Einstein to understand modern physics," says Professor Wolfson at the outset of these 24 lectures on what may be the most important subjects in the universe: relativity and quantum physics. Both have reputations for complexity. But the basic ideas behind them are, in fact, simple and comprehensible by anyone. These dynamic and illuminating lectures begin with a brief overview of theories of physical reality starting with Aristotle and culminating in Newtonian or "classical" physics.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

Publisher's Summary

"It doesn't take an Einstein to understand modern physics," says Professor Wolfson at the outset of these twenty-four lectures on what may be the most important subjects in the universe: relativity and quantum physics. Both have reputations for complexity. But the basic ideas behind them are, in fact, simple and comprehensible by anyone. These dynamic and illuminating lectures begin with a brief overview of theories of physical reality starting with Aristotle and culminating in Newtonian or "classical" physics. After that, you'll follow along as Professor Wolfson outlines the logic that led to Einstein's profound theory of special relativity and the simple yet far-reaching insight on which it rests. With that insight in mind, you'll move on to consider Einstein's theory of general relativity and its interpretation of gravitation in terms of the curvature of space and time.

From there, you'll embark on a dazzling exploration of how inquiry into matter at the atomic and subatomic scales led to quandaries that are resolved-or at least clarified-by quantum mechanics, a vision of physical reality so profound and so at odds with our experience that it nearly defies language.

By bringing relativity and quantum mechanics into the same picture, you'll chart the development of fascinating hypotheses about the origin, development, and possible futures of the entire universe, as well as the possibility that physics can produce a "theory of everything" to account for all aspects of the physical world. But the goal throughout these lectures remains the same: to present the key ideas of modern physics in a way that makes them clear to the interested layperson.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2000 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2000 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (1309 )
5 star
 (857)
4 star
 (344)
3 star
 (71)
2 star
 (20)
1 star
 (17)
Overall
4.5 (1131 )
5 star
 (748)
4 star
 (288)
3 star
 (72)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (13)
Story
4.5 (1157 )
5 star
 (727)
4 star
 (303)
3 star
 (92)
2 star
 (23)
1 star
 (12)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Matt717 LA 05-27-15
    Matt717 LA 05-27-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Einstein Theories"

    Overall more of a review of quantum physics than Einstein's theories. Also, lectures are before discovery of Higgs boson. Explains standard model superficially. Superficial explanation of time dilation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Hooker, OK, United States 01-29-15
    Paul Hooker, OK, United States 01-29-15 Member Since 2015

    I like apocalypse, zombies, and orcs stories. Also new ideas in fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    92
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not overly complicated"

    Very well done. Not overly complicated and very good for causing your mind to expand.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey 01-23-15
    Jeffrey 01-23-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting"

    The narrator spoke in such a way to emphasize the importance of certain concepts yet kept the over place of lecture from slowing. Very enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NickInProvo 01-18-15
    NickInProvo 01-18-15 Member Since 2015

    grad student in Electrical Engineering

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great overview of 20 century physics"
    What did you love best about Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition?

    I loved the journey through modern physics, it was very inspirational to hear about the understanding of the world around us revealed by modern physics and some philosophical implications. Very short lectures, easy to follow if you're familiar with the topic but very profound.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Einstein dugh


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JM 01-14-15
    JM 01-14-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful!"

    I took quite a few physics courses a few years ago, and this was a wonderful refresher on the theories I studied. The lecturer does a great job of presenting complex theories in an easy to understand format.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yogeshwar 01-14-15
    Yogeshwar 01-14-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good lectures."

    Very easy to grasp. Wish they included the bibliography and the pictures he was talking about. This is not very mathematical, so you may need to look for other sources for those...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirk 12-30-14
    Kirk 12-30-14

    Like: James Rollins, authors that are similar

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great listen"
    If you could sum up Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition in three words, what would they be?

    Very easy listen for such a complex topic. Enlightening, interesting, and strange


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition?

    most memorable topic for me was gravitational time deviation & the effects of velocity on time as well.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The concepts are clearly explained and, via interesting analogies, create a good understanding of them.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Ive listened to it twice now and looking for another from this professor, great teacher.


    Any additional comments?

    If this topic interests you, this is the book you want

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles 02-01-16
    Charles 02-01-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good quick survey, not great as audio"

    The lectures are engaging and the professor is interesting and very well-organized. The course is lacking in some depth, mainly because of the huge range of topics covered, but also because he shies away from math a little too much. I think it's a good quick introduction to many of the great ideas of modern physics from a non-mathematical angle.

    The main thing to be aware of before buying this is that the course is not designed for listening. While this is true of all of the teaching company courses on audible, some work better than others. This one depends heavily on visual material which is only viewable in the pdf. So this is not ideal for commuting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-16-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting subject, but somewhat disappointing"
    What did you like best about Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition? What did you like least?

    The topic is interesting, and many theories were discussed that I have puzzled over. I understand them a little better than I did before. However, the professor had a penchant for explaining the easiest ideas over and over and over, but brushing lightly over most of the more difficult ones. I was also disappointed that this lecture was put together over 15 years ago. I didn't realize that until towards the end of the book, the presenter says that the Higgs Boson has not yet been discovered.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would rather it be more up to date. Also I would prefer it be presented in a little more relaxed manner. The voice was tense, rushed, and repetitive, leaving no space for reflection. He should slow down a bit, take a breath, and not repeat the same idea so many times.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EmilyMSN 12-04-15
    EmilyMSN 12-04-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The best of the Great Courses"

    This is one of the best of the GC series. Fascinating content that delicately walked the line between engaging non-science beginners and still provoking inquiry for more studied listeners. Truly an experience that joined with only a handful of other works resulting in a change in perception and the way I view life. I find I reference it continually and have gone back to listen again - the only audiobook on which I can ever lay that claim!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • C. Mccartney
    Cambridge, UK
    8/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pitched at just the right level, very engaging."

    I've always rather regretted dropping physics at the age that I did, but assumed that my lack of advanced mathematics was probably a barrier to investigating the subject further by myself. I'm ecstatically happy to be proven wrong.

    I couldn't really be happier with this course. It seems to be pitched towards an undergraduate non-scientist level, which is to say that it assumes that you don't know any physics already, but *does* assume that you have a few brain cells to rub together. So far so perfect.

    The content is no doubt simplified and focused on the conceptual (Advanced physics without maths? How could it not be?), but Professor Wolfson is superb in how he takes the listener through the evolution of various theories in engaging logical steps.

    NOTE: There are references throughout the lecture series to occasional diagrams and course materials, which are *not* available for Audible customers to download form the Great Courses website. A quick google search however will usually provide you with similar diagrams if you just throw in the relative topic keywords.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Sparding
    Ire
    4/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable and informative, but..."

    An enjoyable telling of the story of how the physical world works, which should prompt anyone to look for more, not least to look further into the mathematics underpinning it all. The lecturer speaks enthusiastically and quickly and sometimes loses track (entertaining in itself) but topics are well paced and points are repeated and reinforced so you don't have to continually backtrack if your attention strays. Unfortunately this offering is purely audio, with no apparent links to important supplementary visual aids (even the most basic diagrams and equations) which would be available if the audiobook was purchased from the original producer.
    This is simply wrong and unfair never mind the (usual) claim that they arent necessary given at the beginning. I'm writing this having studied these topics at undergraduate level - I feel that others are missing out. But as I said in the end it should encourage anyone to look for more elsewhere, which can only be a good sign.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • James Shields
    London, UK
    1/31/15
    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    Who needs religion when you have such a wonderful scientific real world out there, described so clearly and enthusiastically in these lectures. A real pleasure from beginning to end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • E
    CULLOMPTON, United Kingdom
    1/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Look forward to listening again"
    Would you listen to Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition again? Why?

    I think listening again will help me understand further this complex subject!


    What other book might you compare Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition to, and why?

    Perhaps Stephen Hawkings brief history of time


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Adrian
    Tralee, Ireland
    12/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The title says it all. Emphasis on non-scientists"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The lectures are well structured and progressive in approach.


    What other book might you compare Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition to, and why?

    None that I have come across as yet.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Richard Wolfson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    It felt a little slow in the first few lectures but as we got further into the subject, as a reader, I found that the repetition of the concepts kept me grounded and I never felt lost. Excellent examples and I found his diction and style to be crystal clear.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    11/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very clear, logical and easy to digest"
    Any additional comments?

    These lectures explain the relatively straight forward principals from which flow some very complex and bewildering physics. This is done in a clear and easy to follow way where much of the time the listener is lead to draw the conclusion that the lecturer is about to posit just in advance of it being stated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Johnny
    Dublin
    1/27/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great"

    Take the time and understand each lecture and you have no choice but to get it..

    Use bookmark and go back if needed and use the Internet for reference

    Great stuff

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • timalive
    Cape Town
    1/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great introduction for non scientists"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Anyone interested in understanding a bit more about the fascinating recent history of Physics should listen to this. A great (and understandable) buildup of Special Relativity and interesting introduction to General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Richard Wolfson – was your favourite?

    Wolfson is a great character to listen to. His lecturing is both thoughtful and enthusiastic - he draws you into the subject. His background in philosophy no doubt helps his ability to explain these complex topics.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jacob
    12/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wonderfully described introduction to these major theories"

    Richard Wolfson brilliantly introduces you to major breakthroughs in physics! I can't recommend this more for people looking to deepen their understanding of the universe and all things small (very) and large (very).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Blue Reviewer
    London
    10/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very well explained"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    absolutely.


    What did you like best about this story?

    everything about it was fascinating


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    a master-class in physics.Some very difficult concepts explained from many different points of view.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.