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Publisher's Summary

Are we on the verge of solving the riddle of creation using Einstein's "greatest blunder"?

In a work that is at once lucid, exhilarating and profound, renowned mathematician Dr. Amir Aczel, critically acclaimed author of Fermat's Last Theorem, takes us into the heart of science's greatest mystery. In January 1998, astronomers found evidence that the cosmos is expanding at an ever-increasing rate. 

The way we perceive the universe was changed forever. The most compelling theory cosmologists could find to explain this phenomenon was Einstein's cosmological constant, a theory he conceived - and rejected - over 80 years ago. 

Drawing on newly discovered letters of Einstein - many translated here for the first time - years of research, and interviews with prominent mathematicians, cosmologists, physicists, and astronomers, Aczel takes us on a fascinating journey into "the strange geometry of space-time," and into the mind of a genius. 

Here the unthinkable becomes real: an infinite, ever-expanding, ever-accelerating universe whose only absolute is the speed of light. Awesome in scope, thrilling in detail, God's Equation is storytelling at its finest. 

©1999 Amir D. Aczel
(P)2000 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

What listeners say about God's Equation

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

More biography than science

I was somewhat disappointed with this book, although I am otherwise a fan of this author. I purchased the book hoping for a history of the most famous equation in physics, but found that it was a somewhat disjointed history of Einstein's struggle to develop general relativity. While the insights into Einstein as a person are interesting, approach this as biography, not science.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

more biography than science

While some reviewers lament the the lack of scientific detail, "God's Equations" was never meant to be a physics textbook. Nor should the reader be misled by the title into thinking there is much theology here. What we have is a good historical overview of how the man who shaped modern science developed his theories.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This is not just for egg heads - its a great read

What an excellent piece of work. I can not recommend it enough. There have been paragraphs written about it already, so I can only put my own personal perspective on it. Giants of science are shown as people, with characters and doubts and misgivings about there conclusions and proofs. Your shown how they arrived at final deliberations. Although primarily about Einstein it touches on the lives and goings on of all them people around him. How they discussed with others and tried again in various ways to see if what they believed was true. How they reasoned there way out of logical dead ends. Its well written and well narrated. Is it just for egg heads?, well no. My wife enjoyed it all the way to Scotland and although a wonderful and charming woman, she is no boffin, and we still discuss its ideas at dinner now. Perhaps thats the best measure of any book, for it to live with you long after its been read. Well done Mr Aczel

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good Book

I enjoyed this book and felt I learned alot about Einstein and how he revolutionized physics. The relativity concepts were well presented and easy to understand. I could even see myself listening to this again. Highly recommended.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting, but a little like a history book

There is a lot of academic citation in this book, and the first 18 minutes are mostly spent thanking sundry people who helped with the book. Finding out how Einstein's theories were developed then proven is interesting, but the author does not have a gift for storytelling. Instead, he faithfully records the events, complete with the requisite names that have nothing to do with the story, but are acknowledged nonetheless. I would not buy this audiobook again. I wanted more theory and explanation and less formal writing.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting, but a difficult

If you want some background on Einstein, this is great. But, it's hard to hear equations read. Too bad in those cases you can't look back at something to see this level of information.

But it was interesting til the end, and I enjoyed it. Hard to recommend though because of the distraction of the equations. Hard to see it in your mind's eye, as it were.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • F
  • 08-28-05

You do not want to listen to this book

I love science, and I am particularly fascinated with relativity, its development, and its impact. That having been said, this audiobook was painful.

The author did not know whether he wanted to dumb down the science or play it straight. As a result, the book includes both rough analogies and numerous equations. If you want to have equations full of Greek letters with subscripts READ TO YOU, this is the book for you, but I would not recommend it.

Moreover, although the author endeavored to talk about the people involved in the development of relativity, I question the aspects he chose to describe at length. Personally, I do not care about which apartments Einstein occupied. I also thought the details about the expeditions to photograph eclipses to prove Einstein's general theory was excessive.

In addition, I felt the narration was very, very dry.

If you want to listen to an excellent book on science that is both well-written and well-presented, that explains the science in a clear, understandable, and witty fashion, and that recounts fascinating stories about the scientists who made the discoveries, get Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" (unabridged) - skip "God's Equation."

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable from beginning to end

The narration is perfect, and content is rich, above my head at times, but that doesn't mean I don't want to try to understand, and I gained a lot of understanding about what Einstein's general theory of relativity is. One of the more fascinating parts of the book is the description of how the theory was proven using eclipes of the sun. Highly recommended for anyone who finds this sort of stuff interesting.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Pushed me scientifically

A good recounting of the life of a formative man in the world's history. If you are not aqainted with the details of Einstien's life you will learn a lot. If you are not bent toward the scientific there will be a healthy dose of formula's and equations that will challenge you.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Witty, engaging, fun, mind expanding

I have listened to the book twice and will listen again. Everytime I have listened I pick up some new ways to see things. I have a degree in Physics and this book added to my knowledge and understanding. It also creates a great picture of Einstein and other great scientist, making them all just as human as us.

I highly recommend this book.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon Pegg
  • 12-04-06

Tedious in the extreme

The only audio book I have not finished. The narrator has the most tedious monotone I have heard and the book lacks compelling narrative.

17 people found this helpful