Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Relativity For the Questioning Mind

Let get this out of the way, shall we? I'm a fan of Dan Styer almost as much as I'm a fan of Bob Park. Styer is a professor at Oberlin College and has written some of the most sensible (in my opinion) articles and papers on physics that I've ever read. You may go to his webpage and check out his publication list and also his school notes/handouts.

Anyway, he is either finished, or about to complete his text on relativity called Relativity For The Questioning Mind. I've read a few chapters of it and think that this is a wonderful introduction to Special Relativity to either beginning students, or the general public that want to have a rigorous, non-superficial account of this important part of physics, but without the mathematical gymnastics. Don't get me wrong, there's some mathematics there, because you do need some to make this clear and rigorous, but the way it is presented, one can follow easily the mathematics (assuming one has at least basic algebra, trig, and geometry).

So I quite highly recommend this text if you want a good intro text on Special Relativity. It is a bonus that he's making this freely available. It just reflects on how much he cares about the teaching of physics.


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