In order to keep this book to a manageable size, much that would otherwise be interesting to include, must be omitted. I would like to draw my reader’s attention to a part of this material with these 'Suggestions'.
- Read biographies! Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and many others did not only make large contributions, but were also interesting people.
- Read original publications or at least parts of them. The fundamental physical concepts are usually not hidden in cryptic mathematics. Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton are often a pleasure to read.
- Read the introduction to other books about STR. These usually begin with the problem of the ether and the attempts of Michelson and Morley to measure the earth’s movement through the ether. You now know the principle ideas and do not run the risk of getting lost in the details.
- Sigmund Freud’s book “The Interpretation of Dreams” appeared in 1900. It marks the parallel break-down of a supposed certainty in a completely different field.
- Likewise around 1900 Munch and others begin to contrast themselves to the ‘beautiful’ impressionists and in music Ravel and others begin experimenting with musical modalities.
- In 1899 Hilbert published “The Foundations of Geometry”. This led to the attempt to prove the consistency and completeness of arithmetic. Kurt Gödel showed however in 1930 that this was illusory.
- At the same time Russel and Whitehead were looking at the lack of logical underpinnings in set theory and in 1905/10 in their tome ‘Principia Mathematica’ tried to place logic and set theory on a proper foundation.
- In 1900 Planck published his derivation of the radiation law and introduced thereby the idea of the quantization of energy. The truly revolutionary aspect however was first revealed with the article by Einstein in 1905 on the photoelectric effect (‘On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light’).
- Study the behavior of a partly filled glass in an accelerating train or on a revolving turntable. High school mathematics is sufficient to derive the shape of the surface in relation to the acceleration or the angular speed. Read the section in Newton’s 'Principia' concerning his bucket experiment.
- Travel up and down on a bathroom scales in an elevator.
- Consider Foucault’s pendulum experiment concerning the place of execution: a) at the north pole; b) at the equator; and c) at middle latitudes. It shows that the earth rotates 'absolutely'.
- What would the result of the pendulum experiment be according to Foucault, if there was only the earth and otherwise no other heavenly bodies in the universe?
Albert Einstein and Kurt Gödel in Princeton USA