Geometry, Relativity and the Fourth DimensionPaperback Dover Books on Mathematics
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- Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.
- Format: Paperback | 133 pages
- Dimensions: 135mm x 208mm x 13mm | 181g
- Publication date: 16 May 1998
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0486234002
- ISBN 13: 9780486234007
- Edition: Annotated
- Edition statement: annotated edition
- Sales rank: 194,706
This is a highly readable, popular exposition of the fourth dimension and the structure of the universe. A remarkable pictorial discussion of the curved space-time we call home, it achieves even greater impact through the use of 141 excellent illustrations. This is the first sustained visual account of many important topics in relativity theory that up till now have only been treated separately. Finding a perfect analogy in the situation of the geometrical characters in "Flatland, "Professor Rucker continues the adventures of the two-dimensional world visited by a three-dimensional being to explain our three-dimensional world in terms of the fourth dimension. Following this adventure into the fourth dimension, the author discusses non-Euclidean geometry, curved space, time as a higher dimension, special relativity, time travel, and the shape of space-time. The mathematics is sound throughout, but the casual reader may skip those few sections that seem too purely mathematical and still follow the line of argument. Readable and interesting in itself, the annotated bibliography is a valuable guide to further study. Professor Rucker teaches mathematics at the State University of New York in Geneseo. Students and laymen will find his discussion to be unusually stimulating. Experienced mathematicians and physicists will find a great deal of original material here and many unexpected novelties. Annotated bibliography. 44 problems.
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By Rui Antunes 22 Apr 2011
I bought this book because I thought it would help me visualize (in some way) the 4th dimension. But, although the author does indeed try to do so in the first three chapters, he then starts going on about quantum mecanics (briefly), special relativity and general relativity in the "traditional" way: with Minkowsky diagrams (1 space dimension and 1 time dimension), so I guess the 4th dimension simply is forgotten after the three first chapters.
If you are looking for books on quantum mechanics, special relativity and/or general relativity, there are much better books than this. If you are looking (as I was) for a book on geometry and the 4th dimension, than the first three chapters of this book are not bad, but are not enough...
Table of contents
1: The Fourth Dimension 2: Non-Euclidean Geometry 3: Curved Space 4: Time as a Higher Dimension 5: Special Relativity 6: Time Travel 7: The Shape of Space-Time Conclusion Annotated Bibliography