Writing a new book on the classic subject of Special Relativity, on which numerous important physicists have contributed and many books have already been written, can be like adding another epicycle to the Ptolemaic cosmology. Furthermore, it is our belief that if a book has no new elements, but simply repeats what is written in the existing literature, perhaps with a different style, then this is not enough to justify its publication. However, after having spent a number of years, both in class and research with relativity, I have come to the conclusion that there exists a place for a new book. Since it appears that somewhere along the way, mathem- ics may have obscured and prevailed to the degree that we tend to teach relativity (and I believe, theoretical physics) simply using "heavier" mathematics without the inspiration and the mastery of the classic physicists of the last century. Moreover current trends encourage the application of techniques in producing quick results and not tedious conceptual approaches resulting in long-lasting reasoning. On the other hand, physics cannot be done a la carte stripped from philosophy, or, to put it in a simple but dramatic context A building is not an accumulation of stones As a result of the above, a major aim in the writing of this book has been the distinction between the mathematics of Minkowski space and the physics of r- ativity.
About the Author
Prof. Dr. Michale Tsamparlis received his PhD from Imperial College in London and has more than 35 years of teaching experience at Imperial college (UK) and the universities of Witwatersrand (South Africa) and Athens (Greece). His research is focused on General Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology.