1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Relativity A First Course in General Relativity

  1. Sep 28, 2016 #1
    For those who have read Schutz' book A First Course in General Relativity. Can this book be considered as a deep approach on the subject?

    Edit ---

    Do you think I will become a "expert" in general relativity just by reading books like this one I mentioned above? What time it take for learning all of the theroy? I know you probably will say, it varies from one person to another. But what I'm really asking is for the mean time it generally takes for mastering on the subject. (Sorry for my poor English.)
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2016 #2
    No. But it's an excellent first course.


    ALL the theory? That would take multiple lifetimes.
  4. Sep 28, 2016 #3
    So what can I do, what books can I read to acquire more and more knowledge on GR?
  5. Sep 28, 2016 #4
    First things first. Start by reading Schutz and then ask for a deeper book. You might want to start learning math though. If you'll want to know the math deeply and rigorously (not necessary for physicists, but I would personally recommend it), you'll need to do real analysis, topology and differential geometry.
  6. Sep 28, 2016 #5
    Thank you. Can you suggest me a book more deeper than Schutz?
  7. Sep 28, 2016 #6
    I can, but I don't see the point. Read through Schutz first and then you should tell us what you liked about his approach and disliked, and what you want to study in more detail. Maybe you're interested in a very mathematical approach, in which Wald would be an obvious choice. Or maybe you are interested in something entirely different.
    You see, I don't consider a book good because it is deep. I consider it good if it aligns with your personal interests and reading style.
  8. Sep 28, 2016 #7
    Ok. I've actually read that book once. I find it hard to understand the concepts of tensors, Reimann Curvature Tensor, Transformation of bases, etc. Do you consider good the way by which the autor explain these concepts? Or maybe can you suggest me other book that I can learn through and after go back to Schutz for applying what I learned in GR?
  9. Sep 28, 2016 #8
    Can you tell me in more detail why you found those concepts hard? I have to know exactly what's bugging you if I am to give you a recommendation useful to you.
  10. Sep 28, 2016 #9
    I'm shy to talk to you because my English is poor. I hope you understand. Well, sometimes they omitted steps in their derivation. For example, I found there an derivative when they were deriving the volume in a locally flat spacetime that I've never seen before.

    BUT it is really not the problem, because it's simply to search for answers, like the issue I mentioned earlier would be "how to derive a function of several variables". What bother me is that the book fail in give examples of what they presents. They just do the math and not give worked problems in physics situations (I've no seen that up to the page I've read). Thus it's difficult to me for associating the significance and the function of, say, a gradient on a manifold, etc.
  11. Sep 28, 2016 #10


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted