on April 19, 2014 :
I am a Professor of Physics. This book was brought to my attention by one of my students. Having read it, I feel compelled to furnish my professional opinion (albeit anonymously). In my opinion, it suffers from two fatal flaws. One, it relies on Wikipedia for much of its source material, which is not ideal. With all due respect to Wikipedia, the material it provides represents an O' level grade interpretation of a Phd level subject, which frankly seems beyond the capacity of the author. Two, despite a valiant attempt, the book makes little sense to anyone, layman or expert, and it isn't particularly reader-friendly.
Though I would certainly not discourage anyone from reading it (it is free, after all), equally I could not recommend it.
(review of free book)
on April 13, 2014 :
Um don't really get this. Admittedly didn't finish it, but seems to be a ramble about one issue. Seems a very well constructed argument, but not very readable and no idea whether it's right! Sorry.
(review of free book)
on April 06, 2014 :
Okay, the author feels passionately about his cause. That much is clear from the writing style, which feels as if you're sitting in the room with the author and feeling the conviction. Not the mention the title itself!
Since I generally like to read "grand-thought" books on the meaning of the Universe, and on how it works in particular, I got this one. Actually I got it from the author's own web site awhile ago, or was it some other place? I can't recall, but have been looking over this for a while.
The question of whether Einstein was right or not is closed in the mainstream scientific community. He was right, they say. However, there is a fairly populous group of people, academic and laymen alike, who disagree. The thing is, rarely does a scientific theory have such a persistent dissident following, without any influence from the religious right (such as in the case of evolution).
Why is this? The author makes a case. He does not propose any solutions for this, and that's fair enough. Figuring out something's wrong is the first step.
Does the author succeed in refuting Einstein? No, I can't say he does, but not based on the argument itself. That's been tried so many times, and the arguments used here have been, in one form or the other, seen elsewhere. And they all went nowhere.
Einstein's theory is a mathematical closed circuit. If you assume that the starting premise is right, everything else works fine. What author is doing here, is proposing a series of thought-experiments, with trains and light bouncing off the ceilings, to prove there's something wrong. That's not original, given Einstein used the same technique. Perhaps there is something wrong with it, but that's besides the point. Figuring out what may be wrong with Einstein's theory (if anything), if it happens, will come from a different set of assumptions to start with.
Still, there are many interesting and thought provoking passages here. Definitely food for thought. Particularly when it comes to the choice of frames of reference. This is where logic gets dicey and shaky, not because the author doesn't try hard, but because it's a really tough question.
In the latter part of the book, there is a large mock-discussion about Earth being the center of the Universe. The point made was that, what's really proven, is that light moves the way Einstein thought, only relative to Earth. Truth be told, that's correct. We haven't done much work like that in space, well, because Elon Musk hasn't gotten around to it yet!
I like the chapter called 'Death to Galileo!' and I think the author is onto something here. Einstein's work sits on top of Galileo's and it builds on it. To truly get to the bottom of this, if there is a bottom, the original principle of relativity needs to be examined more closely.
The connection between Twin Paradox and the Big Bang was interesting. If everything was at rest relative to everything else at some point in time, then there's an absolute frame of reference, and relative motion can be sorted out. That's a thought.
For what is worth, I agree with the author that Einstein's theories have created more questions. Even though they agree with experiments, there's a strong departure from common sense. I applaud the author for trying to bring those questions forth.
I give it five stars, even if most of the arguments ultimately do not pan out, in my opinion, but for the effort and for showing more desire to dig deeper than most of the popular mainstream science does.
(review of free book)