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I About book suggestions

  1. Jun 16, 2016 #1
    Can anyone please help me with a good book to read relativity I am currently trying to read from Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity Øyvind Grøn andSigbjørn Hervik
    Please I need to learn from basics to top
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  3. Jun 16, 2016 #2


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    Gron and Hervik is not really suitable for a first exposure, is my experience. I used Carroll's notes on Arxiv. Highly recommended.
  4. Jun 16, 2016 #3

    George Jones

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    I like Gron and Hervik, and I like Carroll's notes,


    but I don't either is suitable as introductory self-study material (except for very strong students).

    Carroll's book, "An Introduction to General Relativity:Spacetime and Geometry" is much better than his notes, but it is not free.

    My personal recommendations (and thus probably different than other folks' recommendations) for self-study are:

    1) "Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's Relativity" by Hartle,

    2) "A First Course in General Relativity" by Schutz,

    together with "A Student's Manual for A First Course in General Relativity" by Scott,

    3)"A General Relativity Workbook" by Moore,
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  5. Jun 16, 2016 #4


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  6. Jun 16, 2016 #5


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    I quite enjoyed our own Ben Crowell's books, available from www.lightandmatter.com. They don't go into as much detail, I think, as other titles mentioned here. But I liked their presentation and it helped set context for Carroll and Schutz.

    I also liked Einstein's "The Meaning of Relativity". It's rather elderly and a lot of the maths is presented in a rather old fashioned way. But he was trying to convince a lot of hidebound old physicists that he wasn't crazy, and I found that a useful perspective. :wink:
  7. Jun 17, 2016 #6
    Instead of a book, would you consider following a free course that's available online? There's Leonard Susskind's course from Stanford and Alexander Maloney's course from McGill. I preferred the latter.

    As for books, some of them are quite formidable for a beginner learning on their own. There are a couple that are more geared toward the novice and will put you in a better position to follow some of the heavyweights on Physics Forums:
    o A Most Incomprehensible Thing: Notes Towards a Very Gentle Introduction to the Mathematics of Relativity by Peter Collier
    o The Einstein Theory of Relativity, A Trip to the Fourth Dimension by Lillian Lieber

    The style of Lieber's book is unconventional but I found it to be excellent. Collier's book is a bit odd as it assumes you don't even know calculus and spends a lot of pages going over basics like that.

    As usual, some topics are not covered in all the sources, or some may do a particular topic better than the others, so it wouldn't hurt to have more than one available.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  8. Jun 17, 2016 #7


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    Ehm, why shoud I read a book, which promise me that the subject treated by it is incomprehensible. I read books, because I want to understand something!
  9. Jun 17, 2016 #8
    Ha - it is a strange title for a book.
  10. Jun 17, 2016 #9


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    At least according to Google, it's a quote by Einstein: "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible". Whether or not the attribution is sound, I'd guess it's the source of the name.
  11. Jun 18, 2016 #10
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