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- 22,183
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- Author: Bernard Schutz
- Title: A First Course in General Relativity
- Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0521887054/?tag=pfamazon01-20
- Prerequisities:
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This seems to be true of many *undergraduate* GR texts. They all seem to take this "physics first" standpoint which may work for some undergraduate students but me personally I cannot stand all the hand waving. If you are just coming out of your first intermediate mechanics class then this book or Hartle will probably do you justice but if you have already learned smooth manifolds (I have looked at spivak's volume 1 and the problems are brutal compared to the ones in Lee haha) then this kind of book would probably move too slowly in terms of the mathematics. In that case Wald is probably a *considerably* better choice (or Carroll but like you I think Wald is better because he is more precise with the math). The thing is though, books like Wald tend to focus on the math SO much that the down to Earth physics gets totally lost and for things like that a book like this would be pretty good (like I said the chapters on gravitational waves and the one on interior solutions for stars). Anyways if the person wanting to start GR feels he/she is not ready to do a graduate level text but finds the math in the typical US undergraduate texts like Hartle move too slow I still hold strong that the book by Hughston and Tod works well to bridge the gap but it assumes prior knowledge of SR (this book is used for undergraduate applied math majors at Oxford). By the way Fredrik have you checked out the book on SR by Rindler. IMO that book is the best out there for SR; it covers things like Thomas Precession which Schutz doesn't.Fredrik said:This book has a reputation for being the easiest (or at least one of the easiest) introductions to GR, and it probably is. But the reason it's easy is that it does everything it can to avoid differential geometry...
So the book has an excellent treatment of tensors outside of the context of differential geometry, but a (deliberately) very weak presentation of differential geometry.
I have not. I mean, I know I've had a quick look inside it at some point, but I don't even remember what I thought at the time.WannabeNewton said:By the way Fredrik have you checked out the book on SR by Rindler. IMO that book is the best out there for SR; it covers things like Thomas Precession which Schutz doesn't.
The main purpose of "A First Course in General Relativity" by Schutz is to provide an introductory understanding of the fundamental principles and applications of general relativity, a theory of gravity that describes the behavior of large-scale objects in the universe. It is targeted towards undergraduate students with a background in physics and mathematics.
The book covers a wide range of topics including the special theory of relativity, tensor calculus, the Einstein field equations, black holes, gravitational waves, and cosmology. It also includes exercises and examples to aid in understanding the concepts.
Yes, "A First Course in General Relativity" is suitable for self-study. The book provides clear explanations and examples, making it easy to follow along without the need for a professor or instructor. It also includes exercises and solutions to help reinforce the concepts.
A basic understanding of calculus, linear algebra, and classical mechanics is recommended before reading this book. Some prior knowledge of special relativity and differential geometry would also be helpful, but not necessary.
This book is known for its clear and concise explanations, making it accessible to students without an advanced background in mathematics. It also focuses on the physical intuition behind the equations, rather than solely on mathematical formalism. Additionally, the book includes modern topics such as black holes and gravitational waves, which are becoming increasingly important in the field of general relativity.