Why Does E Equal mc Squared? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw
|Why Does E=mc²? (And Why Should We Care?) by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw|
|Category: Popular Science|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: A wonderfully accessible explanation of the what and why of Albert Einstein's famous equation. The scope is huge, but anyone interested enough to pick up the book will be able to understand it. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 264||Date: July 2009|
|Publisher: Da Capo Press|
|External links: Author's website|
Why does E=mc² and why should we care? Two questions that every intelligent person should be able to answer, but I'll bet that 95% couldn't. Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw explain this most famous of equations to the layperson in such a way that they won't need anything more complicated than Pythagoras' theorem to understand it.
It's a wonderful piece of sciecne writing, effectively communicating concepts that could make the average head spin. It does so in such a clear and edifying (but unpatronising) manner, that you almost never feel lost. I read ahead without quite getting something once or twice, then backtracked and got it - I don't think that's too much to ask with subject matter like this. Most of the time, you will take it all in perfectly.
Although no major science knowledge is needed to read Why Does E=mc²? you will need the willingness to learn what it has to teach. It shouldn't be above the heads of most readers, but it is very much a book that if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea, it won't be. For those with interest enough to give it a go, they'll discover an amazing way to look at the world, where time and space are immeasurable, yet they can be combined to create spacetime, which suddenly makes complete sense. They'll discover that the universe has a speed limit, and will see how that ties in with E=mc².
People with a healthy smattering of science knowledge will be familiar with some of these concepts - even all of them - but Cox and Forshaw tie them all together so that you fully understand not just the what, but most importantly the why.
Don't be scared. You'll be able to understand it. Go on. You always wanted to know why E=mc², didn't you? Highly recommended.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
For science writing as clear and informative as this, look no further than Bad Science by Ben Goldacre. Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You by Marcus Chown treads similar ground to Why Does E=mc²? with Chown's book being a little simpler. You'll also like the Top Ten Books For Slightly Geeky People.
Why Does E Equal mc Squared? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw is in the Bookbag's Christmas Gift Recommendations 2009.
You can read more book reviews or buy Why Does E Equal mc Squared? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Why Does E Equal mc Squared? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.