Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Evolution of Physics: From Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta” as Want to Read:
The Evolution of Physics: From Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Evolution of Physics: From Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,249 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
For the alternate cover edition by Simon & Schuster, see here

Clear and concise explanations of the development of theories explaining physical phenomena.
Paperback, 330 pages
Published October 30th 1967 by Touchstone (first published 1938)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Evolution of Physics, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Evolution of Physics

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Thomas Freeman
Sep 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the explanations given in this book. The author is Einstien but the writing is Infeld. He worked very closely with Einstien.

They begin with basic mechanics and work their way through field physics, special and general relativity and then finally to quantum mechanics. All of this is done without mathematic equations. It is all explained through analogies, theories and explanation or real world experiments.

It is a very interesting read if for no other reason than to see the devel
Anna Hiller
Feb 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dad
Recommended to Anna by: Marybeth
Shelves: physics
This book is so polite! Written in 1938, apparently more by Infeld than by Einstein, it is exceedingly proper and therefore delightful, as well as thorough. It is a beautiful book, very clear and precise, and should be read by all armchair physicists with a serious hankering to understand relativity theory, as well as the importance of the quantum theory.
مديحة حوري
كنز من التجارب الذهنية
تدرج الأفكار ومتى نقرر أن نظرية ما، أصبحت غير صالحة
تجربة تحول الفيزياء الى درراسة بنية الحقل
الفيزياء والمراجع العطالية وعلاقة كليهما بالهندسة
الهيولة، الأثير، الحراة، درجة الحرارة، الطاقة، المادة، الكتلة،العالة، الثقالة، السرعة، المسافة و الزمن

كتاب قمة
Ali Reda
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics
نحن لا نستطيع أن نبنى علما دون أن نعتقد بإمكانية إدراك الحقيقة من خلال منشآتنا النظرية ودون أن نوقن بوجود تناغم داخلى في العالم الذي نرصده. إن هذا الإيمان كان وسيظل الباعث الرئيسى لكل إبداع علمي. فمن خلال كل مجهوداتنا، نلمح الطموح إلى الفهم والايمان الراسخ بتناغم عناصر الوجود ، ذلك الايمان الصامد أمام كل العقبات التى تحول دون إدراك الحقيقة.
Baris Balcioglu
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bu kitabı 1995 civarında arkadaşım İnanç'tan almıştım ve o zamandan beri Ankara'da annemlerdeki kütüphanede bekledi. İlk okuduğum popüler bilim kitabı Carl Sagan'ın Kozmos'unu da ondan almıştım ama bu kitabı bir biçimde okumaktan korktum. Bu yılbaşında gözüme ilişince sahibine geri vermek üzere aldım ve okudum. Birçok yerinde FL'de öğrendiğim konuları anımsamak ve o zamanlar anlamadığım bazı şeyleri anlamak güzel olduysa da, hâlâ ilişkinlik/görelilik/relativite kuramını anlamış değilim. Parçaçcı ...more
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Einstein has a reputation not only as a physicist, but as a humanitarian. The clarity and style of this book reinforces the reputation.

Slowly, carefully and with great concern that the reader not be left behind, Einstein and his co-author tell what could be a bewildering tale by demonstrating how the science of the physical relationship of things evolved.

It did so for the reason that all science evolves: questions, in being answered, pose further questions. The pursuit of the unknown, with the n
Steve Bolin
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Interesting book. Most of it was written by Leopold Infeld who was a colleague of Einstein and a fellow refugee from Europe. Infeld could not get a permanent appointment at Princeton due to a bitter rivalry within the Physics department so he came up with the idea of writing a popular, non mathematical monograph explaining the history of physics. Einstein readily agreed and this allowed Infeld to obtain a secure source of funding. Einstein's name appears first only because his was the better kno ...more
Mengsen Zhang
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely awesome! In my mind, this book is more about psychology or cognition rather than physics. I love books whose plots are connected by logic rather than irrelevant story telling.
More precisely, this book is about how human "create" knowledge and the nature of reality. There is in fact no force, no field, no charge. All we have is motion, along with, at best, the tendency of motion. The "scientific" concepts are artificially created to, and only to, classify unrelated events that only ma
ابراهیم توللی
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
تاریخ علم فیزیک از زبان اینشتین شنیدن دارد. این کتاب به ما میآموزد که مفاهیم علمی به چه شکلی در مواجههی ما با طبیعت و برای فهم بهتر آن تولید میشوند و رشد میکنند. ضمنا نظریات فیزیکی در همین دویست سیصد سال اخیر چقدر عوض شدهاند و در یک روند رشدی چقدر از مفاهیم و نظریات به کناری ریخته شدهاند.
این کتاب برای آشنایی مفهومی و فارغ از ریاضی با نظریات فیزیکی از زمان نیوتن تا زمان خود اینشتین هم خوب است.
نکتهی جالب این که حتی یک نام هم از اینشتین در این تاریخ نویسی نیامده در صورتی که میدانیم اینشتین در همهی
Erdogan Cicek
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
The book is briefly and clearly explains the transition of the physical phenomenas from classical to modern area and why we should think so in order to improve our way of vision..
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a pretty good explanation of the history of physics, from Galileo to quantum theory. It is set out in a fairly comprehensible manner, and there are a lot of analogies used. This isn't going to help you much with exams but it's a great way to get your head round the overall structure of physics.
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I first picked this book up thinking that it would provide a broad overview of the entire history of Physics. I really wanted Einstein's take on Aristotle, Lucretius and maybe even the pre-Socratics in a sweeping history of scientific thought. On this account, I was sorely disappointed. Einstein summarily dismisses all physics prior to Galileo, and I almost summarily dismissed the book as a result. It sat on my shelf for about two years until I recently picked it up thinking I needed a new way o ...more
Abdulrahman Algendy
هذا الكتاب رغم قدمه ولكني استمتعت كثيرا بقراءته واستفدت أكثر ، أنا لا أعلم مدى مشاركة تلميذ أينشتاين في الكتابة ولكني أستطيع ان أرى أسلوب أينشتاين في الشرح وإيصال الفكرة بكل موضوعية ، فقد بدأ بشرح تطور علوم الطبيعة منذ جاليليو وحتى ميكانيكا الكم وبداياتها على عهده ، وقد فعل ذلك بكل حياد وموضوعية دون أن يحتقر أو يتجاهل قوانين نيوتن والمياكنيكا الكلاسيكية بشكل عام ، بل أكد على أهميتها وعلى أن النسبية سواء العامة أو الخاصة ماهي إلا تعميم للميكانيكا الكلاسيكية ورؤية أفضل لعلوم الطبيعة ، وأسلوبه في إ ...more
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physics
An accessible, straightforward journey through the rise and fall of various theories at the heart of physics, from Newton's time to the early 20th century era of Einstein and Infeld. Although "rise and fall" is not quite accurate; the authors stress that new theories tend to broaden the scope of the old theories rather than upending them entirely. Thus, for example, today we freely make use of Newtonian mechanics when dealing with non-relativistic speeds, or use Maxwell's equations when the elec ...more
Nov 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book offers two things:
1. A summary of physics, from classical mechanics, to field theory, general relativity and quantum theory (as it was understood in 1938 when the book was first published). The presentation is oriented towards laymen and avoids using any mathematical formulas. The explanations of the basic ideas of physics are marvelously clear and straightforward. However, the self-imposed strict avoidance of math, although probably appealing to the wide audience, sometimes resulted i
Rosa Ramôa
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"da Teoria da Relatividade,depreende-se que massa e energia não são senão manifestações diferentes do mesmo fenómeno,um conceito pouco familiar para uma inteligência comum.Explicando a equação E igual a mc ao quadrado,na qual a energia é igual à massa multiplicada pelo quadrado da velocidade da luz,mostra que pequenas quantidades de massa podem ser convertidas numa grande quantidade de energia,e vice-versa.A massa e a energia são,de facto,equivalentes,de acordo com a formula mencionada.Isto foi ...more
Ahmed Alhefny
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
باختصار: إذا أردت فهم مضمون النظرية النسبية فعليك بهذا الكتاب.
Tố Nga
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Các bộ sách về vật lý luôn đầy ắp các công thức toán học phức tạp. Nhưng khởi nguồn của mỗi lý thuyết vật lý đều đến từ sự suy tư, từ các ý tưởng chứ không phải từ những công thức. Sau đó, các ý tưởng này phải được diễn đạt dưới hình thức toán học của một lý thuyết có tính định lượng để có thể được so sánh với thực nghiệm." - Albert Einstein & Leopold Infeld, trích "Sự tiến hóa của vật lý".

Đây là một quyển sách tuyệt vời, vẽ nên một bức tranh toàn cảnh về quá trình tiến hóa của Vật lý. Từ n
Antoine Patt
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Einstein, through this book, unfolds the intricated lines of ideas that forged what is today's physics understanding. It gives a rather clear insight of why people put their faith and reason in some theories, and casted shadows of disapprovement on others. But the most interesting in my opinion is to learn more about the tipping points before each thought revolution. Those periods were highly tensed from the intellectual point of view. They reflect how difficult it can be for new and counterintu ...more
Youssef Al Amri
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
مشاركة أينشتاين في تأليف الكتاب كافية لوحدها لجذب القاري للكتاب
الكتاب مختلف في طرحه للنظريات الفيزيائية فهو لا يسردها ككتب المناهج الدراسية بل يناقش الأفكار التي أوصلت العلماء لتبني هذه النظريات
كذلك يناقش المسلمات ويبين كيف تخلى عنها الفيزيائيون بعدما لم تستطيع الصمود أمام الأفكار الجديدة
يعيب الكتاب ترجمة المصطلحات العلمية حيث استخدم المترجم مصطلحات لم أعهدها من قبل وكان من الأفضل لو ارفق المترجم المصطلح الإنجليزي بالعربي الذي استخدمه.

الكتاب أحياناً يكون مشوق جداً وأحياناً تشعر بالملل وتارة يكو
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, not-fiction
La dimostrazione di come non sia necessario utilizzare un linguaggio complesso e autoreferenziale per esporre argomenti complessi, e di come basti poco per far comprendere a chiunque concetti fisici alla base della Scienza moderna. Fondamentale per chiunque sia interessato all'argomento, adatto sia ai profani che agli addetti ai lavori.
Un'ottima lettura consigliatami da un altrettanto ottimo insegnante di Fisica del quale conservo uno splendido ricordo. Ce ne fossero di più di docenti universit
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este é um livro realmente importante na física do século XX. Einstein explica claramente onde a relatividade se coloca diante do corpo de conhecimentos anteriores da física.
Pessoalmente foi uma leitura marcante. Li pela primeira vez aos 15 anos e muitas vezes depois. Já dei o livro de presente para muitas pessoas. A clareza das explicações, a lógica, a simplicidade são o meu modelo de física bem contada.
Jonathan Rodriguez Lopez
Me encanto, la forma de explicar conceptos un tanto complicados de una manera mas sencilla. Los ejemplos que se plasman son muy digeribles, y ahí creo, que se halla la magia de este libro.

Recomendado para aquellos que, desean profundizar en temas de física, desde la mecánica clásica hasta la teoría de la relatividad, adentrándose un poco mas en en el dinámico mundo de la física cuántica.
Mark Leone
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The path Einstein takes the reader down as he describes our world in ever more detail, starting with Galileo and Newton and ending with Bohr and Heisenberg, is an amazing journey eloquently relayed in plain understandable language.
In my opinion, modern textbook authors could be much more effective if they followed his example.
Fred Kohn
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
I once read a book of essays by Einstein and the writing was horrible to follow. I have heard similar stories about Einstein's book on relativity. The book, on the other hand, was a joy to read. No doubt this is due to Einstein's co-author.
Craig Zamboni
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The second generation of physics. Relativity, Special Relativity and Quantum theory explained by the genus himself. A classic in the annuals of scientific literature. Must read for all who love pure science and the theory behind how our universe works.
Richard Joya
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Archaic but a good way to get a better understanding of physics.
Mohamed Wael
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
علي الرغم من كل الهيبه اللي بيستدعيها اسم آينشتاين في عقل أي حد إلا ان في الكتاب دا آينشتاين بكل روعة الاساتذه بيشرح بكل بساطه تطور الفيزيا و ازاي جاتله فكرة النسبيه و بيشرح ميكانيكا الكم ببساطه
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El genio de Einstein , a pesar de ser un libro escrito por los años 30 , explica la evolución de la física de la manera que solo el mas grande físico de todos los tiempos lo podría explicar .
Luis Espinoza
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is so far the most legible introduction/explanation of the development of physical theories I have read so far. The vocabulary is considerably simple and the illustrations are clear enough to make the basic concepts approachable for someone with no formal studies in the area like me. The book has no mathematical explanations, and Einstein says that in doing so he is sacrificing precision, and this is surely true, however the point of the book is not to present a precise understanding of phy ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
How much math is enough? Too much? 1 7 Feb 22, 2014 04:43PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Cover Confusion 5 166 Aug 20, 2012 11:02PM  
  • The ABC of Relativity
  • The Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol 3
  • Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction
  • Thirty Years that Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory
  • God and the New Physics
  • Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science
  • Faster Than the Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation
  • Opticks
  • Mysticism and the New Physics
  • The Philosophy of Space and Time
  • On the Shoulders of Giants: The Great Works of Physics And Astronomy
  • The Universe and Dr. Einstein
  • Patience dans l'azur
  • Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning
  • The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection, 250 Milestones in the History of Physics
  • Introduction to Special Relativity
  • Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science
  • A First Course in General Relativity
In 1879, Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Zurich by 1909. His 1905 paper explaining the photoelectric effect, the basis of electronics, earned him the Nobel Prize in 1921. His first paper on Special Relativity Theory, also published in 1905, changed the world. After the rise of the Nazi party, Einstein made Princeton his permanent home, becoming ...more
More about Albert Einstein

Nonfiction Deals

  • Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
    $15.99 $3.99
  • The Monster of Florence
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob
    $9.99 $1.99
  • April 1865 (P.S.)
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Jesus Is ______: Find a New Way to Be Human
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Lab 257
    $8.74 $1.99
  • How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Girl in the Woods: A Memoir
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype--and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Last Lecture
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
    $12.74 $1.99
  • Not Tonight, Honey: Wait 'Til I'm A Size 6
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology
    $12.99 $2.99
  • An Appetite For Wonder: The Making Of A Scientist
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
    $27.99 $2.99
  • Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (Dakotas)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Restless: Because You Were Made for More
    $7.49 $1.99
  • Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
    $16.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
    $13.99 $3.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Pukka: The Pup After Merle
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Buddhist Boot Camp
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Flour: A Baker's Collection of Spectacular Recipes
    $21.99 $3.99
  • The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Van Gogh
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Woman's Worth
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Do the Work
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century
    $4.99 $1.99
  • I Suck at Girls
    $10.74 $1.99
  • The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
    $14.99 $2.99
  • A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives
    $18.99 $1.99
  • In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Prose
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Journal of a Solitude
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Living by the Word: Essays
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It
    $7.24 $1.99
  • The World's Last Night: And Other Essays
    $7.99 $1.99
  • A. Lincoln
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Tracks: One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Life
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society
    $13.24 $2.99
  • Grace, Not Perfection (with Bonus Content): Celebrating Simplicity, Embracing Joy
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. And Robert F. Kennedy
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Why We Run: A Natural History
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple
    $12.99 $2.99
“Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value, elly judgments of all kinds remain necessary.” 18 likes
“The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS [coordinate system] could be used with equal justification. The two sentences, “the Sun is at rest and the Earth moves,” or “the Sun moves and the Earth is at rest,” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS.” 0 likes
More quotes…