Arion Lyre

71. The Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein

A centennial edition of the two key papers of 1905, On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies and Does the Inertia of a Body Depend on its Energy-Content?, with foreword, annotations, and afterword by Professor Richard A. Muller of the University of California at Berkeley, 2005.

Theory of Relativity coverOne of the great achievements in science, Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity was set forth in two papers published in the Leipzig physics journal Annalen der Physik in 1905. The German text was translated into English in 1923 by W. Perrett and G. B. Jeffrey, and this is the version, with some later corrections, that is presented in this book. The Einstein papers are annotated by Richard Muller, who has also provided a foreword and afterword. His commentary is clear and comprehensible to the general reader. This book will appeal not only to those interested in the history of science but to all who are intrigued by the ideas that have framed the modern world. It can be the perfect gift for scientists and for those with broad interests and wide-ranging curiosity.

EinsteinThe foreword gives a general overview of the problems Einstein addressed against the background of nineteenth-century physics. The afterword carries the story from the miraculous year of 1905, when Einstein was only twenty-six, through the effects of the theory on twentieth-century science. Muller conjectures on the progress of physics had Einstein not appeared and considers his career as a whole, its last thirty-five years devoted mainly to an unsuccessful attempt to create a unified field theory. (Einstein died fifty years ago, in 1955 at the age of seventy-six.) Muller suspects that "we would not yet have discovered general relativity. The idea that mass-energy could alter the curvature of space-time is likely to have been missed. Without Einstein, we might not even now be engaged in discussions of whether the Universe is finite or whether time will go on forever. Einstein may have been a full century ahead of his time."

Professor Richard A. Muller is a distinguished physicist and author, widely known for his measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation and for his invention of accelerator mass spectrometry. He is the principal author of the Nemesis theory on the extinction of the dinosaurs. His recent discovery of a sixty-two-million-year cycle in fossil diversity was announced in the March 2005 issue of Nature magazine. He is on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. Muller has received many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship. His forthcoming textbook, Physics for Future Presidents, is based on his popular course at Berkeley.

Format: 10-1/2 by 8 inches, eighty pages. Printed by letterpress from lead-alloy type cast in the Mackenzie & Harris typefoundry, the formulas were set by hand, as was the display type, while the prose was composed and cast in Monotype. The types are Modern for the text, with special characters as needed for mathematical symbols; Egyptian for the interspersed annotations, printed in blue; and Lining Gothic for display. The paper is Schiller, a German mouldmade sheet.

A pixelated portrait of Einstein is the frontispiece (shown above at reduced size). This image is based on a photograph taken about 1910, rendered as a coarse halftone for reference, then handset in units of six-point type: three sizes of solid squares and one centered dot. Over 4,000 pieces of type make up the picture. The portrait is printed in gray, as is the famous equation: E=mc2, which appears on the flyleaves.

Theory of Relativity Fron & Back coverThe binding is dark blue cloth over boards with a band of tie-dyed Thai paper to create an unusual spatial effect spanning the cover diagonally. The titling on the spine is stamped in silver foil.

This is the seventy-first publication of the Arion Press. The edition is limited to 400 numbered copies for sale and twenty-six lettered copies for complimentary distribution. The price is $500. Available

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Edition: The format is 10-1/2 by 8 inches, 80 pages. Full cloth binding with silver foil stamped title on spine. The edition is limited to 400 numbered copies for sale. Price: $500.

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