fromDa Capo Press

Why Does E=mc2?

(And Why Should We Care?)

By Brian Cox, By Jeff Forshaw

What does E=mc2 actually mean? Dr. Brian Cox and Professor Jeff Forshaw go on a journey to the frontier of twenty-first century science to unpack Einstein's famous equation. Explaining and simplifying notions of energy, mass, and light—while exploding commonly held misconceptions—they demonstrate how the structure of nature itself is contained within this equation. Along the way, we visit the site of one of the largest scientific experiments ever conducted: the now-famous Large Hadron Collider, a gigantic particle accelerator capable of re-creating conditions that existed fractions of a second after the Big Bang.

A collaboration between one of the youngest professors in the United Kingdom and a distinguished popular physicist, Why Does E=mc2? is one of the most exciting and accessible explanations of the theory of relativity.

Brian Cox is a professor of particle physicist and Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. He divides his time between Manchester in the UK and the CERN laboratory in Geneva, where he heads an international project to upgrade the giant ATLAS and CMS detectors at the Large Hadron Collider. He has received many awards for his work promoting science, including being elected an International Fellow of the Explorers Club in 2002, an organization whose members include Neil Armstrong and Chuck Yeager. He is also a popular presenter on TV and radio, with credits which including a six-part series on Einstein for BBC Radio 4, 3 BBC Horizon programs on Gravity, Time and Nuclear Fusion, and a BBC4 documentary about the LHC at CERN, “The Big Bang Machine”. He was the Science Advisor on Danny Boyle's movie, the science-fiction thriller Sunshine. Brian also has an unorthodox background in the music business, having toured the world with various bands and played keyboard with D:REAM, who had several UK Top 10 hits including Things Can Only Get Better (re-released & used as Tony Blair's election anthem back in 1997.

Jeff Forshaw is professor of theoretical physics at the University of Manchester, specializing in the physics of elementary particles. He was awarded the Institute of Physics Maxwell Medal in 1999 for outstanding contributions to theoretical physics. He graduated from Oxford University and gained a PhD from Manchester University. From 1992-1995 he worked in Professor Frank Close's group at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory before returning to Manchester in 1995. Jeff is an enthusiastic lecturer and currently teaches Einstein's Theory of Relativity to first year undergraduates. He has co-writing an undergraduate textbook on relativity for Wiley and he is the author of an advanced level monograph on particle physics for Cambridge University Press.

Cox and Forshaw began collaborating on scientific papers in 1998, and have published on topics ranging from Pomerons to Higgs Bosons. Their most successful paper to date deals with physics at the Large Hadron Collider in the absence of a Higgs particle.

“Particle physics professor Brian Cox and professor of theoretical physics, Jeff Forshaw are clearly trained to have the answers. But here's something that training as a physicist simply can not teach: they deliver their message not only clearly, but with a deep and resonant humor.”
“[Cox and Forshaw are] good communicators overall (they find understandable ways of explaining most concepts) and they have important things to say…What’s important about this book is not that it says something new about science. It’s that it gives a primer for understanding how a certain type of scientist sees the universe.”
New York Journal of Books

Blogcritics.org, 8/22/10
“Cox and Forshaw make a good point in stating that space, time, and even nature are contained within the equation…Although the theory might be tricky, the authors show they understand readers are not on their level. By going one step at a time, the buildup ensures each chuck is absorbed slowly rather than all at once.”

Booktrade.info, 8/24/10
“This book takes the world’s most famous equation apart and puts it back together again in a way that is lively and understandable.  We were delighted to find our knowledge of equations—long forgotten since leaving school for some of us—reinvigorated and felt ourselves rediscovering our enjoyment of mathematics.”
Choice, September 2010
“Thorough, engaging.”
New Scientist, 8/28/10
“Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw tackle the most famous equation of all time in a remarkable comprehensible way…The pair make some surprising points that I haven’t seen expressed in quite the same way…Well worth a read.”
January, 8/16/10

Daily Telegraph, 10/19/10
“[A] brilliant exposition of Einstein’s famous equation… [Gives] a fresh understanding of Einstein’s genius. A truly impressive achievement.”

The Independent,
“Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw take Einstein's description of the relationship between energy and matter, pull it apart and put it together again, with some detours into space and time along the way. Not an easy read, but not an easy subject.”
Nature, 10/28/10
“Provide[s] an accessible explanation of Einstein’s iconic equation.”
Cape Times (South Africa),11/5/10
“Fans of the physical sciences will undoubtedly enjoy this read…The true success of Why Does E=mc2? lies in Cox and Forshaw having made the most esoteric of ideas…accessible to the layman…The pair manage to hold their readers' hands as they skip through the figures and facts—without patronizing them—to create a logical map between theory and consequence.”
Midwest Book Review, December 2010
“An easy survey of science for non-scientists.”

“[An] easy-to-read little book…[Cox and Forshaw] very cleverly introduce all the ideas we will need to get to the world’s most famous equation, E=mc2. What is more, they focus on the most puzzling part: the question of what c, the speed of light, is doing in there…Their arguments are so presented so clearly…It is to their credit that they do not always hide the complexity nor the long history of ideas behind relativity…It is also to their credit that they make the case, as Feynman and others have done before them, that, at some level, the weirdness of the universe just has to be accepted…Will help school science teachers as much as it will their students.”
The Guardian, 10/18/10
“The reader is in supremely capable hands with Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw…For anyone afraid of technicalities, Cox and Forshaw lead the reader by the hand through the complexity, adding in rest stops of wit and real-world examples. Even the hardest bits feel like being taken on an army assault course by the two friendliest drill sergeants in the world. You may have to read some bits twice but, boy, will you feel better for it once the insights become clear. In the process of exposing the science, the authors do a good job of showing how the hard end of research works: abandon all assumptions and re-build everything from scratch.”


Also By Brian Cox, By Jeff Forshaw









Da Capo
Powered by Supadü
terms of use
privacy policy