Received via NetGalley and Columbia University Press for an completely unbiased review.
Jeffrey Bennett is no Brian Greene, but then again his own method of explaining basic physic principals seems to weave its way into its own set of followers. What is Relativity? Special Relativity? Why is it important for scientists that Einstein created Relativity, and what can it be used for? These are a few of the questions that Mr Bennett covers in his brief book of a mere 192 pages.
This concise book includes some images of fundamental principles (how the universe is shaped, or how we perceive the universe), and has limited explanations of each diagram. It would be fantastic if Bennett extrapolated in common terms on certain ideas (the creation of binary stars, for instance) because unless the reader has read a few other physics books, or taken classes in physics, they would probably have found it confusing. The discussion of specific measurements surrounding the gravity and pressure specific types of stars can maintain before falling in on themselves seemed a bit more complicated than necessary, if at all necessary.
I would have liked to see more emphasis on why black holes were so very important to the Relativity discussion. Although Bennett does prove his thesis that Relativity is indeed important to every day life, and the exploration/understanding of outer space, he fails to truly integrate his black hole discussions into the broader picture. If any future edits of this book are done, it would be beneficial to more clearly connect black holes to the thesis before continuing on with the structures and natures of the universe.
I would suggest this book to any physics or space junkie who doesn't want to wade through Einstein's own books, and wants a concise and direct introduction of all things Relative.