E=mc2 by David Bodanis

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

After cod, longitude and phosphorus, the latest topic for non-human biography is an equation. Though initially given the brush-off by FDR, Einstein's proposal for a practical application of E=mc2 achieved terrible fruition in 1945. The glare would have been visible on Jupiter. In this miraculously accessible account, Bodanis takes the story back to Lavoisier, himself extinguished in an earlier Terror, and forward to Tom Stoppard, whose use of relativity to explore moral viewpoints is "all wrong".