A good grad-level intorduction to general relativity

  1. Hi there,

    I am wondering if anyone might be ablet to suggest a good book to give me a working knowledge of general relativity. I have already sat a "relativity and cosmology" undergraduate module but I find that I am still unable to understand papers on gravity. I would like something that is quite easy to get into but yet can provide enough rigour to help me to understand, a kind of "general relativity for dummies" type book.

    I have been through most of the Leonard Susskind lecture series on GR but I would like it spelt out to me.

  2. jcsd
  3. Matterwave

    Matterwave 3,816
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There's always MTW's Gravitation, it's very comprehensive, but it has a "track 1" for beginning students in GR. There's also Wald's General Relativity, which tends to be a lot more terse but also mathematically rigorous. Carroll has a book on GR as well which are arranged from his lecture notes but I haven't really read that one except for his short spiel on Killing vector fields.

    I think a good upper undergrad, lower grad level book is Bernard Schutz's A First Course in General Relativity.
  4. There's also 'General Relativity' by I.R. Kenyon, which gives a decent account of the formalism.

    A lower-level book is Edwin Taylor's 'Exploring Black Holes: Introduction to General Relativity'. It's useful for understanding about the outcomes of the theory but doesn't go into the maths.
  5. Carroll is my personal favorite. Wald will probably be of little use to a beginner. Schutz with Hartle as a supplement were how I myself got started. Schutz has an excellent intro to tensors, and especially the stress-energy tensor. Hartle goes over some topics that Schutz leaves out, like the extremal aging principle and a few others.
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