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How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog Paperback – 28 Feb 2012


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"A clever introduction to the often intimidating concepts of special and general relativity, couched as a series of conversations between the author and his dog, Emmy. It may sound like a strange setup, but the somewhat kooky concept works well for explaining a field of physics that can sound, well, kooky to the uninitiated.... While keeping the math to a minimum, Orzel provides a clear and thorough primer. It might take some practice to start equating subatomic particles to running bunnies, but the reader will find that puzzling through the details is worth the effort."--Science News

"Unlike quantum physics, which remains bizarre even to experts, much of relativity makes sense. Thus, Einstein's special relativity merely states that the laws of physics and the speed of light are identical for all observers in smooth motion. This sounds trivial but leads to weird if delightfully comprehensible phenomena, provided someone like Orzel delivers a clear explanation of why."--Kirkus Reviews

"With canine humor and math- or physics-related jokes, Orzel keeps readers interested, while teaching the elements of physics that we promptly forgot after we took the test."--Booklist

"Readers who enjoy Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, or Neil deGrasse Tyson will love this book. Full of quotes, math jokes, and silly canines, the book strives to make its audience amazed by, not frightened of, physics. With exuberant Emmy at the lead, readers can't help but be dragged (willingly!) toward a better understanding of special and general relativity."--Library Journal

"Rather than barking or growling, Emmy leavens the mood with requests for walks; and when the academics get heavy, she interjects to beg for clarification. Obviously, real-life dogs will not walk away from the book with a grasp of the universe's mechanics, but the human sort of non-scientist can get some benefit."--Washington Post

"[E]ngaging and readable for a general audience.... I suggest people who balk at the idea of a talking dog but are nevertheless interested in the broad sweep of one of the two great theories of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries should give this book a chance. After all, every dog has its day."--Nature Physics

"Emmy may be one smart dog, but her owner also happens to be an uncommonly gifted communicator. Chad Orzel's treatment of special and general relativity is comprehensive, informative, and amazingly accessible, yet it's funny too. This is, by far, the most entertaining discussion of the subject that I've ever had the pleasure of reading."--Steve Nadis, coauthor of The Shape of Inner Space

"With Nero, the egocentric cat who believes it is the centre of the universe, and Emmy, the student dog whose questions and misunderstandings would drive any teacher to distraction, and whose interest in relativity is how E=mc^2 can turn squirrels into energy, Chad Orzel has created a delightful cast of characters to make his introduction to relativity relatively painless. A cleverly crafted and beautifully explained narrative that guides readers carefully into the depths of relativity. Whether you are a hare or a tortoise, or even a dog, you will enjoy this."--Frank Close, author of The Infinity Puzzle

"Dogs are a practical species. They aren't interested in speculation and conjecture; they like food, walks, and proven physics like Einstein's relativity. If you really want to further your dog's education (and learn something yourself in the process), Chad Orzel's book is the first place you should turn."--Sean Carroll, author of The Big Picture

"For the price of a book, Orzel delivers the heady, joyful experience of taking a small college class with a brilliant and funny professor who really knows how to teach. A thoroughly winning romp through a rock-solid presentation of a beautiful subject."--Louisa Gilder, author of The Age of Entanglement

About the Author

Chad Orzel received his BA in physics from Williams College, his Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Maryland, and his postdoctorate from Yale University. He maintains a regular blog, Uncertain Principles, and is author of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog. He is currently a professor at Union College in Schenectady, New York. He lives near campus with his wife, their daughter, and, of course, Emmy.

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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews
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Irene2014
5.0 out of 5 starsPhysics class with a furry friend :)
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H. Carroll
5.0 out of 5 starsReally well done
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Jim Link
5.0 out of 5 starsOne of the best popular books on relativity.
20 December 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
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2 people found this helpful.