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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Foreword By Albert Einstein

Anyone who has ever Tried to present a rather abstract scientific subject in a popular manner knows the great difficulties of such an attempt.
Either he succeeds in being intelligible by concealing the core of the problem and by offering to the reader only superficial aspects or vague allusions, thus deceiving the reader by arousing in him the deceptive illusion of comphension; or else he gives an expert account of the problem, but in such a fasion that the untrained reader is unable to follow the exposition and becomes discouraged from reading any further.

If. these two categories are omitted from today's popular scientific literature, surprisingly little remains. But the little that is left is very valuable indeed. It is of great importance that the general public be given an opportunity to experience consciously and intelligently the effort and result of scientific research.

Lincoln barnett's book represents a valuable contribution to popular scientific writing. The main ideas of the theory of relativity are extremely well presented.

Moreover, the present state of our knowledge in physics is aptly characterized. The author shows how the growth of our factual knowledge, together with the striving for a unified theoretical conception comprising all empirical data, has led to the present situation which is characterized not withstanding all successes by an uncertainty concerning the choice of the basic theoretical concept.

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