Rock star turned physicist Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw have written a book with a deceptively simple title, Why Does e=mc2? With a title like that you might expect that the book will be along the same lines as the New Scientist books How To Make A Tornado and Do Polar Bears Get Lonely?. Instead though, you get a book that takes you on a in-depth journey through deriving the equation from first principles* and on to the many things that it implies.
As you might expect for a book from two physicists it is a fairly specific book, focusing on entirely on the equation and the mathematics and physics that surround it. If you’re looking for a history of the equation and the Einstein then this is not the book for you. That’s not to say that it’s not well written, or not accessible because it is both of those things. The jovial nature of the writing and understandable metaphors really help you to follow the progress of the book, especially when four dimensional space-time is being discussed.
This book is well written, informative and entertaining. If you’ve ever wanted to know why e=mc2 and you’ve got a basic understanding of maths then “Why Does e=mc2?” will answer all your questions and more.
* Well, from an fairly basic set of set of assumptions.