WILLIAM F. HUDGINGS
The preparation of this treatise on the Principle
of Relativity has been undertaken after a careful
study of practically all the literature hitherto published
on the subject purporting to be of a popular
or semi-popular nature. With due appreciation of
the merit of many of these works, a perusal of them
made it increasingly apparent that the writers have
not succeeded in eliminating technical phraseology
sufficiently to bring the matter down to the level of
the untrained reader, and that a really popular exposition
of both the Special and the General Theory
is needed. Notwithstanding the laudable efforts
of some to meet this need it is manifest that the
public continues to be in the dark and many erroneously
suppose that “only twelve men in the world”
can really comprehend this new theory of the
universe. Even book reviews ofttimes betray a surprising
lack of appreciation of the fundamentals of
Einstein’s noble contribution to science.
It is the purpose of this book, therefore, to bring within the scope of visualization, as nearly as possible, the very essence of relativity, and to state its principles in terms devoid of unfamiliar phrases and illustrations. The popular mind is not satisfied with vague statements and mathematical equations and formulae. It calls for an explanation in words of every day usage, and where a technical term viust be employed then a definition of that term in language simple and lucid. To meet these requirements without sacrificing scientific accuracy has been the earnest endeavor of the author.
Acknowledgment is hereby made to Dr. S. I. Bailey of Harvard, Dr. Edward Kasner of Columbia, Dr. G. D. Brinkhoff of Cambridge, Prof. Victor Schmidt of Cincinnati, and Dean J. A. Robison of the Oakland Technical High School (Calif.), all of whom have kindly criticized the manuscript and made valuable suggestions for improvement of the text.
WILLIAM F. HUDGINGS