A criticism of Einstein and his problem - PDF book by W. H. V Reade

A criticism of Einstein and his problem

A criticism of Einstein and his problem


A Common infirmity of mathematicians is failure to express themselves in a manner intelligible to the vulgar. Many books devoted to this new problem of ' relativity ' have been composed with the sincere intention of avoiding technicalities; but always, after some three or four chapters, the author wanders away to the familiar mysteries, leaving his profane companions to wait outside the temple. When a mathematician declares that he is going to write for the general public, he means, apparently, that his pages will not wholly be covered with equations, and that good, sound, dictionary words will be freely employed. He forgets how deeply his own mind is saturated with assumptions to which the layman has no kind of clue. 

This little foible, to be sure, is not peculiar to mathematicians. Most of us who chance to have mastered a technical language is slow to unlearn it again for the benefit of others. We chafe at their innocent questions and too hastily acquit them of brains. It is only that mathematics, more than any Other science, is forced by its nature to dwell among distant abstractions, to which the passage is too narrow and arduous to be traversed without an affable guide. 

The object of these few pages is to review the elements of Einstein's problem without the pretence of mathematical intricacy, for which, indeed, the author can boast no qualifications. Even less will the reader find here a book of metaphysics, or an attempt to catalogue the many senses of relativity which careful analysis might disclose?
The most definite presupposition of the argument is a belief that difficulties, like the entities of Ockham, should not be multiplied beyond what is necessary. Without an elaborate use of symbols the manifold development of mathematical principles would doubtless be impossible; but, if the principles themselves be not amenable to simple expression, we may fairly be excused for doubting their truth.


1. The Case of the Swimmer and the Stream 1
II, The Case of the Passenger and the Train 16
III. The Addition of Velocities . . . . 27
IV. Light and the First Principle of Motion 40
V. The Unique Position of Light . . . . 65
VI. Euclid, Velocity and Direction . . . . 83
VII. Non-uniform Motion and Gravitation .. 109

the book details :
  • Author: W. H. V  Reade
  • Publication date:1922
  • Company: Oxford: B. Blackwell

  • Download 3.3 MB

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