books > Relativity for Poets
This is a set of lecture notes for my course Relativity for Poets at Fullerton College. It's a nonmathematical presentation of Einstein's theories of special and general relativity, including a brief treatment of cosmology.
The format is such that you can print the pdf file on US letter-size paper, with two facing pages fitting on one sheet in landscape mode (an even page number on the left and an odd one on the right). This will also be the most convenient way to view the book on a device such as an ipad or a desktop monitor.
Although you could just sit down and read this book and learn quite a bit about relativity, that's not what we did in my class, and the breadth and depth of the material in the book is not really sufficient for a one-semester general education class. The assigned reading was actually the following books: Takeuchi, An Illustrated Guide to Relativity, ch. 1-7; Stannard, Relativity: A Very Short Introduction, pp. 1-99; Ostriker and Mitton, Heart of Darkness: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe, ch. 1-7. Relativity for Poets is an after-the-fact writeup based on my in-class lectures, so for someone self-studying the subject, it can be used along with the other three books to provide a backbone and a consistent narrative point of view.
For licensing information, please see the copyright page of the pdf version of the book, and the photo credits section in the back of the book.