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Glad to be here!

by jmatt
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Aug2-11, 08:34 AM
P: 14
Hello everyone,

I graduated with a bachelor's degree in physics from Rutgers College in 1981. I have had a great career in database design and have kept up with developments in physics mostly through authors like Stephen Hawkins and Brian Green. I have never lost my passion for physics.

As I approached 50 I decided to climb my intellectual Mt. Everest (no way I was going to climb the real thing!) and learn the mathematics required to really understand general relativity. I have been slogging through tensor calculus for about a year now and a lot of lights have turned on for me.

I am looking forward to searching these forums and asking some questions and sharing the excitement!

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Aug2-11, 09:40 AM
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Hi jmatt, welcome to PF!

And good luck climbing Everest. The view is great, but the trek can leave you dizzy
Ben Niehoff
Aug2-11, 12:52 PM
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That's Stephen Hawking. *cringe*

Anyway, if "slogging" is how you describe it, then I can make a good guess what book you've been using...

If my guess is correct, you are probably using Misner, Thorne and Wheeler. I have to say, this book is the most tedious presentation of GR and differential geometry I have ever seen. They make all the math sound much more confusing than it really is.

A book I would highly recommend is Sean Carroll's. It will be more like taking the ski lift, comparatively. :)

Aug2-11, 01:04 PM
C. Spirit
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WannabeNewton's Avatar
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Glad to be here!

Quote Quote by Ben Niehoff View Post
A book I would highly recommend is Sean Carroll's. It will be more like taking the ski lift, comparatively. :)
I second Space time and Geometry. That book is a godsend. It manages to remove that intimidating aura around Wald's book to boot.
Aug2-11, 02:07 PM
P: 14
Thanks for your advice and your welcome!

I clearly remember the physics library at Rutgers had the Misner, Thorne and Wheeler book back in 1980 when I was an undergrad. I thought it was the coolest thing I ever saw!

Actually I have “A First Course in General Relativity” by Bernard Schutz and lot’s web resources. Also reading “The Road to Reality” by Roger Penrose

I just ordered the Carrol book. Not cheap but I feel like I need at fresh Sherpa!
Aug2-11, 03:03 PM
lisab's Avatar
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What's your favorite fish, jmatt?
Aug2-11, 03:10 PM
P: 14
hagfish because it’s so wonderfully disgusting
Aug2-11, 03:28 PM
micromass's Avatar
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*slaps jmatt with a disgusting hagfish*

Anyway, good luck on your journey and I hope you'll learn a lot here!!
Aug2-11, 03:41 PM
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Quote Quote by jmatt View Post
hagfish because it’s so wonderfully disgusting
I hope micromass didn't slap you too hard for your initiation.

Welcome to Physics Forums.
Aug2-11, 04:11 PM
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Welcome jmatt! I hope you enjoy your stay.
Aug2-11, 06:01 PM
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Hey, I just got hit with fish slime... eww... welcome jmat, phtooey, phtooey...
Your first duty is to post on your favorite pastime, hopefully it is fishing...

Aug2-11, 07:57 PM
P: 14
wow i never knew getting hit by a hagfish could be so ... welcoming.

thanks everyone!

favorite pastime? French red wine and flailing on the electric guitar.
Aug20-11, 07:31 PM
P: 14
The Carrol book arrived a couple of weeks ago and I have just now dived in. Wow, wonderful writing at exactly the level i craved. Thanks for the recommendations!

As an aside, I wanted to say what a joy a well made, written and illustrated physical book is. I am not a Luddite, eBooks are useful and fill a need but the physical feel of a beautiful book will never be obsolete (I hope)!

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