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RE: starship-design: Re: FTL travel
L. Parker writes:
> > It also occurs to me that there is another book on relativistic
> > physics that I can recommend which you might like better: _Six
> > Not-So-Easy Pieces_ derived from Richard P. Feynman's Caltech
> > physics lectures. It also has an excellent discussion of
> > mathematical symmetry in physics in the first couple of chapters.
> I bought Taylor and Wheeler _because_ I was having a hard time with this
> one! It is a good text, don't get me wrong, but it is even more difficult in
> my opinion. But then I am relativistically challenged ;-)
I can't say that I like _Six Not-So-Easy Pieces_ better than _Spacetime
Physics_, but some of the explanations Feynman uses are quite clever.
The lecture series Feynman gave was done in the early 1960s and the
presentation of relativity was conventional for the time, meaning that
it uses "relativistic mass" instead of invariant mass, and I think
Feynman initially oversimplifies the presentation of relativity ("all
you need is to replace 'mass' with 'relativistic mass'"). However, his
explanation of the fundamental concepts of general relativity is really
nifty, and he does provide some material that I think is a good
transition between the old-style presentation of relativity and the
newer, geometric interpretation used in Taylor and Wheeler.