The Hunt for Vulcan by Thomas Levenson
Finished reading on January 31st, 2016
This book is quite small and short and tells of the history of the non-existing planet Vulcan, why some astronomers thought it existed and how it finally disappeared because of Albert Einstein’s General Relativity.
I found the book an easy read, the beginning is rather detailed – you find out more about the astronomer Le Verrier and some of the astronomers who tried to see Vulcan transiting or tried to see it during an eclipse.
You get the idea of why there had to be a planet according to Newtonian gravity, and later you sort of get it also why according to Einstein’s there really is no need for another planet to explain Mercury’s orbit.
It’s great for some light reading.
Einstein’s Cosmos by Michio Kaku
Finished reading on July 21st, 2014
Kaku’s “Einstein’s Cosmos” fits Albert Einstein’s life and work into less than 200 pages of highly readable story that gives insight into Special and General Relativity and also his try to find a Unified Field Theory without going into too much detail about the physics nor about Einstein’s private life… although you can read about Einstein not wearing socks.
In general I found it enjoyable and more of a book that’s good as an introduction to Albert Einstein or for getting a historical context for better understanding his work and it ends with some of the more important examples where Einstein’s work had great influence and some of the solutions to Einstein’s equations such as time travel and black holes.
Although I’ve previously read some biographies/ books about Einstein’s life and work I still found this quite interesting, although most of it was repeating things I’d already read about, but the writing is just excellent.