The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity

Adriano Marques

General Relativity have always been an intimidating topic for most people. The book makes it specially clear while recounting the story of the beginnings of the theory when almost all scientists showed strong resistance in accepting and even debating about the subject. Even to this day, the theory faces resistance from a small portion of the community.

Although the book title calls it perfect, the extension of our understanding about it is rather still limited and somewhat flawed, and the author goes through an admirable effort to depict the current state of knowledge about the theory in a way that is understandable for most human beings. Do not expect, though, to come out of it a specialist on relativism. The book is a better alternative to understand the history of the general relativity and its implications, rather than a comprehensive lecture on the subject. It mentions some calculations, how some parameters and equations were discovered, but it doesn’t go much deeper than that – which is something I appreciated, and made a lot of sense given that it would have confused most readers and moved the focus away from telling the story of the theory and the current state of affairs.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the theory of general relativity with a caution note that even though the author did a great job in writing it in a way that most people would understand, there is still some prior knowledge required on math and physics to take the best out of it.


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