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Download E=mc2: A Biography Of The World's Most Famous Equation Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample E=mc2: A Biography Of The Worlds Most Famous Equation Audiobook, by David Bodanis Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,408 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Bodanis Narrator: Dan Cashman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2002 ISBN: 9780739301494
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E=mc2 was born in 1905, the brainchild of Albert Einstein.



In this lucid and brilliant book, one of the best popularizers of science illuminates one of science's most complex concepts. Ranging widely from Exit signs in theatres to the future fate of the earth, from smoke detectors to black holes and the structure of the atom, David Bodanis delivers a scintillating and colourful account of the real meaning of E=mc2.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Bodanis’s account is exhilarating….This book filled me, once again, with delight at what numbers, together with a free-ranging intellect, can achieve. E=mc² is to be treasured because, in its small compass, it reveals so much of what makes science tick….a few more books like this and perhaps our policy makers will remember what science is about The Globe and Mail
  • E=mc2, focusing on the 1905 theory of special relativity, is just what its subtitle says it is: a biography of the world’s most famous equation, and it succeeds beautifully. For the first time, I really feel that I understand the meaning and implications of that equation, as Bodanis takes us through each symbol separately, including the = sign…There is a great ‘aha!’ awaiting the lay reader.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “This is not a physics book. It is a history of where the equation [E=mc2] came from and how it has changed the world. After a short chapter on the equation’s birth, Bodanis presents its five symbolic ancestors in sequence, each with its own chapter and each with rich human stories of achievement and failure, encouragement and duplicity, love and rivalry, politics and revenge…Bodanis includes detailed, lively, and fascinating back matter…His acknowledgements end, ‘I loved writing this book.’ It shows.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “A clearly written, astonishingly understandable book that celebrates human achievement and provides some idea of the underlying scientific orderliness and logic that guides the stars and rules the universe.”

    Parade

  • “‘The equation that changed everything’ is familiar to even the most physics-challenged, but it remains a fuzzy abstraction to most. Science writer Bodanis makes it a lot more clear.”

    Discover

  • “Bodanis truly has a gift for bringing his subject matter to life.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Entertaining…Bodanis effectively opens up E=mc2 to the widest audience.”

    Booklist

  • “Accessible…He seeks, and deserves, many readers who know no physics. They’ll learn a handful—more important, they’ll enjoy it, and pick up a load of biographical and cultural curios along the way.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A 2000 Library Journal Best Book
  • A 2000 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Science and Technology

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 1/28/2014

    " A fascinating read for anyone who wants to learn about the equation - it's history, meaning, and implications in our world. The history's of the scientists involved are brief, but enlightening. It might help to have a bit of background knowledge about the history of the atom to more fully grasp the complexities of a lot of the scientific work discussed. Overall, I felt this book was well written enough that any non-science person could get through it without struggle and with interest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kendar88 | 1/27/2014

    " Not very memorable. Went into each part of E, M, C and the people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jake | 1/25/2014

    " This book was a decent book, but even better if you are interested in physics. I learned a few things about the equation and also a better understanding of physics. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Natalie | 1/23/2014

    " I listened to this book a couple of months ago and I just haven't gotten around to posting a review until now. I thought it was okay. I guess I just wasn't interested in the equation to begin with. I have been wondering if Cameron Diaz felt like she got her question answered though! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annette | 1/20/2014

    " I love biographies, but I wasn't sure what to think about the biography of a formula. As I read the book, I began to understand why they gave the book this title. Many people contributed to this formula over many years. One of the best parts was the large amount of content focusing on dispelling misunderstandings and giving credit to some of the lesser known contributors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Telecomfae | 1/13/2014

    " A must read for anyone who wants to get a vivid glimpse into the most important and pertinent science to our being and the future - from the micro to the stellar scale. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 1/12/2014

    " Physics and relativity are difficult to understand, but this is one of the best books to enjoy reading about these fascinating ideas. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 1/5/2014

    " Very readable, but by necessity superficial. God historical background on world events. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeffrey | 1/1/2014

    " This book is awesome! Very entertaining & good history! It breaks down each part of the equation and tells the story how someone in history came apon the discovery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 12/28/2013

    " For those who are interested in physics but want the material to somehow be made, for lack of a better word, human, this is an outstanding read. It balances the life of Einstein and his influences and predecessors with explanations of the equation that are accessible to the layman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob Hermanowski | 12/25/2013

    " A really cool book about the (in)famous equation. Bodanis does as good a job as anyone explaining what it means (though please don't ask me to explain it). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hakija | 12/20/2013

    " Do you know what E=MC2 means? Everybody should read this book. Fantastic! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nate | 11/23/2013

    " Entertaining enough, but whenever I read books like this, I just feel like I should take more math classes so I can actually understand them, not just read about what they kinda mean. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Drake | 5/22/2013

    " Towards the end of the book it is clear that the author has a very strong basis against nuclear power. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fred | 2/23/2013

    " Deepened my appreciate for Einstein's genius; didn't improve my ability to think mathematically. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rowena | 12/28/2012

    " Very interesting and fun. No hardcore physics but lots of water-cooler gossip-like stories interwoven with historic events. Oh, add to that, the humour and wit. Love that! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas Costello | 12/12/2012

    " not what i expected but still a great read if you're into him and the miracle year of 1905 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbi | 11/7/2012

    " This was a fun book to read. You do not need to have a science/math background to enjoy and understand the history of E=mc2. I listened to this one tape and then borrowed the book for a friend to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George | 11/4/2012

    " Easy to read. Cannot recommend it enough. Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Gordon | 9/10/2012

    " A great book that brings the famous formula e=mc2 to a level one can understand. This is combined with a history of thought relating to the relevant physics and chemistry to derive the formula or that were a consequence of it. Easily readable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pratik | 8/23/2012

    " A look at the history behind the mass-energy equivalence. Not much science behind it...more of funny anecdotes, perspectives of German, Indian and American wartime history... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurisa Reyes | 7/30/2012

    " Amazing book! I love all the stories of the other scientists' discoveries leading up to Einstein. A must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 7/29/2012

    " I learned a lot about physics and history, great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Autumn | 5/1/2012

    " I always knew that science could be interesting!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fernand | 12/30/2011

    " History of how we came to E=mc2. Exciting reading with a lot of references to the background of the different actors in the history of the equation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neekro | 9/12/2011

    " Filled with heartbreaking stories of scientists that prevailed against all roadblocks and obstacles to improve our understanding of the world around us. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Harris | 8/27/2011

    " I loved this book. It is probably one of the more stimulating and informative books I have read in quite some time. It was interesting without being frivolous and thoroughly enjoyable to read. I would recommend it to anyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerry | 7/11/2011

    " Read this book a few years back. It is fantastic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsay | 6/6/2011

    " A very interesting and readable book. Bodanis has explained some quite complex topics very clearly, breaking Einsteins famous equation down into its parts and showing us the human side of the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 5/18/2011

    " I listened to this book in audio format while making a quilt. I absolutely loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kendar88 | 3/27/2011

    " Not very memorable. Went into each part of E, M, C and the people. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jimmy | 3/26/2011

    " A very entertaining read. The book is about some of the people and discoveries that made it possible for Einstein to come up with his famous equation. Then it discusses some of the ramifications of his famous formula. I thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 2/3/2011

    " fascinating recounting and explanation of the most famous 20th Century formula "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pratik | 1/7/2011

    " A look at the history behind the mass-energy equivalence. Not much science behind it...more of funny anecdotes, perspectives of German, Indian and American wartime history... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 12/28/2010

    " Fantastic book. I'd suggest it even if you aren't a physics junkie, the history is great. Easy, interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ccnicholls | 12/7/2010

    " (Audiobook verson) Very interesting treatment of the biography of Einstein's formula. Never too technical. Great read (listen). Just re-read it again after 3 years and got even more out of it this time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurisa | 11/29/2010

    " Amazing book! I love all the stories of the other scientists' discoveries leading up to Einstein. A must read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Travis | 9/23/2010

    " I'm not a science guy, usually...and this isn't a science book. it's a history book, but even that doesn't do it justice. it's basically the history of the modern age. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Natalie | 8/7/2010

    " I listened to this book a couple of months ago and I just haven't gotten around to posting a review until now. I thought it was okay. I guess I just wasn't interested in the equation to begin with. I have been wondering if Cameron Diaz felt like she got her question answered though! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 7/29/2010

    " A wonderfully written book about that old familiar equation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vanessa | 7/28/2010

    " This book is fascinating. It truly is a biography of the equation as a living thing. It provides glimpses into the lives of, not just Einstein, but a number of scientists whose work preceded his and those who followed. "

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About the Author
David Bodanis taught a survey of intellectual history at the University of Oxford for many years. He is the author of several books, including The Secret House and the bestselling E=mc2, which was translated into more than twenty languages. A native of Chicago, he lives in London. His website can be found at davidbodanis.com.
About the Narrator

Dan Cashman is an American television actor, producer, and audiobook narrator who has also appeared in many television movies such as Dangerous Women, The Invisible Man, and The Pretender.