E. F. Taylor and J. A. Wheeler, Spacetime Physics, W.H Freeman and Company, 1992.

Scientists about the Special Theory of Relativity

Edwin F. Taylor about the above book and about studying physics:

Public hunger for relativity and quantum mechanics is insatiable, and we should use it selectively but shamelessly to attract students, most of whom will not become physics majors, but all of whom can experience "deep physics."
John Archibald Wheeler, whose presentation of special relativity in a Princeton freshman class in 1964 brought me close to tears 1 and fixed in me a determination to collaborate with him to develop and write up his insights for the world to enjoy.

Anyone with a mastery of basic calculus and an introductory-physics acquaintance with momentum and energy can now explore the boundaries of Nature.
Enthusiastic participants should come out of the woodwork -- both the young and those of us who claim maturity. Most of these will not become physics majors, nor should we want them to. But everyone will be deeply immersed in what physics does best: exploring the boundaries of the universe.
Special relativity is an old story. The book Wheeler and I wrote on the subject 2 attempts to emphasize the conceptual basis that leads naturally toward general relativity. But there are dozens of different treatments of special relativity: choose your favorite.

Wolfgang Pauli:

We now come to the discussion of the three contributors, by Lorentz, Poincaré and Einstein, which contain the line of reasoning and the developments that form the basis of the theory of relativity. Chronologically, Lorentz's paper came first. ... The formal gaps left by Lorentz's work were filled by Poincaré. He stated the relativity principle to be generally and rigorously valid. ... It was Einstein, finally, who in a way completed the basic formulation of this new discipline. ... It ...shows an entirely novel, and much more profound, understanding of the whole problem.

Arnold Sommerfeld:

The name relativity theory was an unfortunate choice: The relativity of space and time is not the essential thing, which is the independence of laws of Nature from the viewpoint of the observer.

Henri Poincaré:

It seems that this impossibility to disclose experimentally the absolute motion of the earth is a general law of nature; we are led naturally to admit this law, which we shall call the Postulate of Relativity, and to admit it unrestrictedly. Although this postulate, which up till now agrees with experiment, must be confirmed or disproved by later more precise experiments, it is in any case of interest to see what consequences can flow from it.

J.S. Bell:

I have for long thought that if I had the opportunity to teach this subject, I would emphasize the continuity with earlier ideas. Usually it is the discontinuity which is stressed, the radical break with more primitive notions of space and time.
The approach of Einstein differs from that of Lorentz in two major ways. There is a difference of philosophy, and a difference of style. … The facts of physics do not oblige us to accept one philosophy rather than the other.
But in my opinion there is also something to be said for taking students along the road made by Fitzgerald, Larmor, Lorentz and Poincaré. The longer road sometimes gives more familiarity with the country.

Richard P. Feynman:

The fact that the electromagnetic equations can be written in a very particular notation which was designed for the four-dimensional geometry of the Lorentz transformations - in other words, as a vector equation in the four-space - means that it is invariant under the Lorentz transformations. It is because the Maxwell equations are invariant under those transformations that they can be written in a beautiful form.
It is no accident that the equations of electrodynamics can be written in the beautifully elegant form... The theory of relativity was developed because it was found experimentally that the phenomena predicted by Maxwell's equations were the same in all inertial systems. And it was precisely by studying the transformation properties of Maxwell's equations that Lorentz discovered his transformation as the one which left the equations invariant.
There is, however, another reason for writing our equations this way. It has been discovered - after Einstein guessed that it might be so - that all of the laws of physics are invariant under the Lorentz transformations. That is the principle of relativity.