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Why Does E=MC2 and Why Should We Care

Written by: Brian Cox,Jeff Forshaw
Narrated by: Jeff Forshaw
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Publisher's Summary

In one of the most exciting and accessible explanations of The Theory of Relativity in recent years, Professors Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw go on a journey to the frontier of 21st century science to consider the real meaning behind the iconic sequence of symbols that make up Einstein's most famous equation, exploring the principles of physics through everyday life.

©2010 Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd

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What listeners say about Why Does E=MC2 and Why Should We Care

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Great insight

concepts are well explained. a good Quantum physics book for dummies like me. Highly recommended, if you have ever wanted to know more about the laws of the universe as we know it today.

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Tough As Audiobook

This book is great as a print book. I hoped the audiobook would help me get through it (time available while driving), but this does not work as an audiobook.

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Roy
  • 2011-06-13

Needs a few Diagrams

Audio books, in the main, are an effective means of absorbing difficult concepts.
There are however pit-falls. E=MC2 falls into one of them.
This audio version only needs a few diagrams to make it the best tutorial on Relativity.
A complementary web site would lift it from frustratingly incomplete to brilliant.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Ian C Robertson
  • 2013-11-30

Generally Good

It is always hard to know where to make your pitch. This must be true of every non-fiction title, but I expect it is particularly true of physics. One can't get any more iconic than the formula at the heart of this title, but very few of us know what it really means or why it is so important. I got interested in finding out about the time reports were leaking out of CERN about a particle that was faster than light. I thought it was time to turn to Cox and Forshaw for help (again). Of course they supplied the answers, but pitched at a level that was a bit too general for my liking. I was having fun with the maths (now that I don't need to pass exams) and getting into the dimensions they explore in the text when, suddenly I couldn't follow the math myself and I read the dreaded words (or words to the effect of), "take it from me, if you do the maths, this is the result". I wanted to do the maths. So, i ordered the hardcopy from Amazon, hoping it would be filled with lots of nice tables, diagrams and appendices. There are some diagrams, but the detail is omitted. That's fine of course for where the authors pitched the text, but I was a bit disappointed. I of course went out and got Physics for Dummies (or something akin to it), then went onto a text book and now I'm happy and ready to write this review.
The rub is, if you know nothing and are happy with something, then you'll be well pleased with this. If you want to do the math (like me) then it's a beginning, not an ending.
Jeff Forshaw reads the title with interest and is easy to listen to. No problem with the performace, at all.

12 people found this helpful

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  • serine
  • 2016-04-22

Superb Introduction to Relativity !

This is a great introduction to understanding how energy has been converted to mass and back into energy, creating every bit of known matter. The first part of the book introduces the reader to the concept of e=mc2, in very simple and easy to understand terms. In the second part of the book, the authors breakdown the equation to teach any curious learner the math behind the equation. Even if you are not interested in breaking down the math, I would still highly recommend this book if you are curious about special or general relativity.

I found the 3rd part of the book to be the most enjoyable. The authors give a fantastic and extremely easy to understand survey of the various types of stars in the universe. Stars are one of my favorite things to read about, and I have read my share of books about them. I would definitely say these authors excelled at explaining the relationship between mass and type of star as well as the forces at work to keep stars active. There is a beautiful dance that exists between the inward pull of gravity and the outward push of fusion and electron repulsion. The way the authors organized this discussion was so simple and beautiful. I think anyone interested in the dynamics of stars would love this book. They did not mention my favorite star, the brown dwarf. That was a tiny bit disappointing.

The final part of the book gave an extremely brief summary of the standard model as well as a summary of some of the particles accelerators and wave detectors. The authors chose not to bog the reader down with the various particles of the standard model. They were more interested in trying to help the reader understand how these particles are at work in e = mc2.

I would definitely recommend this book for someone who is looking for an introduction or a refresher.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Donna Fairbanks
  • 2021-11-10

A Surprisingly Beautiful, and Deep Presentation

While am still not sure whether I would have presented the material in this audio in this manner, I found chapter 5 extremely insightful! It was well worth the purchase! And, except for a few brief moments, the narration was clear! I would recommend this to anybody seeking a deeper understanding of of E = mc2. Albeit, I would recommend that the listener take notes unless you have a photographic memory, or a much higher level of understanding of physics than myself. I am personally going listen to this book over a few times, and pursue a few other sources, to clarify the systematic presentation of the technical information presented here! Two thumbs up!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-10-10

Wow great explanation wirh a bit or real maths

This book really does help get an understanding of the universe and the equation. It was a great book

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  • 1DrummingAddict
  • 2014-10-30

Have a pencil and paper handy...

Would you listen to Why Does E=MC2 and Why Should We Care again? Why?

I fully plan to listen to the book again... and again... and again. I have a general understanding of the topic and am not a physicist or mathematician, but I know enough to do the math in this book, I just want to understand it better.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Why Does E=MC2 and Why Should We Care?

Mathematically changing the unit of measurement from meters per second to the speed of light (c).

What does Jeff Forshaw bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He has a similar accent to Brian Cox and sounds like he REALLY KNOWS this material. It was a pleasure to listen to him through the reading.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made lightbulbs go off over and over again... it was GREAT!

1 person found this helpful

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  • SB
  • 2022-10-13

Landmark achievement of twentieth century

Apparently Einstein Theory of General Relativity remains a subject quite complex and difficult to understand but this book makes a bold attempt to present the subject in a beautifully simple way.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-10-29

best book about special relativity

Galileo's equivalence principle and Light speed should be the same to everyone are the most important keys.
I learned a lot from this book much more than other books. The author reads this audiobook by himself very well!

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  • Xtr33me
  • 2018-09-28

Absolutely incredible read!

Truly one of my favorite non fictional reads! Bit tough at times math-wise when listening as an audio book but I'll just be revisiting the principles on my PC. Must read for anyone interested in this space!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2018-07-02

well written

I needed a break from the strictly quantum theory side and much of it is what I already understood. But, Brian and Jeff do a great job ! this book is a great place to start to understanding the "why."... I hope I live long enough to see a complete unification. I am always looking for hints to that end. No matter how many books and papers I have studied,, there is always something "different" in where it leads my thoughts. I was not disappointed.