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Best book on relativity for newbie ?

  1. Aug 4, 2013 #1
    basically im looking for the book that einstein wrote himself 'relativity: general and special'

    but there are soo many versions/editions of it, can u recommend me a specific one?

    thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2013 #2

    Bill_K

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    Why would you want to read something that's 100 years old?
     
  4. Aug 4, 2013 #3

    Fredrik

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    The question in the title is very different from the question in the post.

    I usually recommend the GR book by Schutz for its material on SR. It's also not a bad place to start learning about GR, but if you really want to learn GR, you will eventually have to study a text that doesn't try to hide the differential geometry (e.g. Wald), and you will also have to study differential geometry. I like the books by Lee for that. Unfortunately, Lee requires you to know a substantial amount of topology.

    There are some books on SR that are supposed to require even less mathematical knowledge and maturity from its readers. The one that gets the most recommendations is Taylor & Wheeler.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  5. Aug 4, 2013 #4

    WannabeNewton

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    Nostalgia? :biggrin:
     
  6. Aug 4, 2013 #5
    For SR I would recommend It's About Time by N. David Mermin.
     
  7. Aug 5, 2013 #6

    robphy

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  8. Aug 9, 2013 #7
    The Geometry of Special Relativity. I forget the author. It's very new.
     
  9. Aug 9, 2013 #8

    robphy

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    Probably, Tevian Dray (http://people.oregonstate.edu/~drayt/ ).
    There is also a new book on GR and on Differential Forms.
     
  10. Aug 9, 2013 #9
    You wouldn't want a newbie to confuse this with the book by Naber (Geometry of Minkowski Spacetime). That would be a shock.

    Looks like it's not out yet:

    https://www.amazon.com/Differential-Forms-Geometry-General-Relativity/dp/146651000

    Looking for that I found this one:

    https://www.amazon.com/Einstein-Matrix-Form-Derivation-Relativity/dp/3642357970/

    A more recent GR book that takes a "Physics first" approach similar to Hartle is the one by Ta-Pei Cheng.

    https://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Gravitation-Cosmology-Introduction-Physics/dp/0199573646/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  11. Aug 10, 2013 #10
    I bought "Relativity Demystified" which promises to lay down the basics of GR, or at least the math you use in it. It's not explicitly a differential geometry book, but I haven't read it yet. Too busy studying for the PGRE. :(
     
  12. Aug 13, 2013 #11
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  13. Aug 14, 2013 #12
    The book reads like a set of notes. There are many better books.
     
  14. Aug 28, 2013 #13
    For special relativity I like "Introduction to SR" by Wolfgang Rindler (Oxford Science)... uses the signature like particle physicists I fear but it explains things well... as for GR there are a lot of good books... Carroll's "Spacetime and Geometry" is a good book, also Wald's "Genrel Relativity" but it is advanced, or Weinberg's "Gravitation and Cosmology", even if it is quite old... it is good for GR but it is not so updated as for the Cosmology part... lot of others I don't know, they tell me Padmanabhan's "Gravitation" is also good, as it has also a small part about quantum fields in curved spacetime and gravity in higher and lower dimensions and as an emergent phenomenon
     
  15. Aug 29, 2013 #14

    vanhees71

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    Padmanabhan's book has a nice concept, but it's full of typos. I'd not recommend it for the beginner!
     
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