Book on general relativity

  • #1
HI, can anyone suggest a good book on general relativity with fairly good mathematics for beginner for self study?
 

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  • #3
jtbell
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What is your current mathematical level?
 
  • #4
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What is your current mathematical level?
To be honest, I wish that all threads that don't adequately answer this question should be locked and deleted. It annoys me so much. How can we possibly give an answer without this kind of crucial information.
 
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  • #5
vanhees71
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L. D. Landau, E. M. Lifshitz, Course on Theoretical Physics vol. II (Classical field theory)
H. Stephani, Relativity - An introduction to special an general relativity, Cambridge University Press
 
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  • #6
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To be honest, I wish that all threads that don't adequately answer this question should be locked and deleted. It annoys me so much. How can we possibly give an answer without this kind of crucial information.
Not to mention that since I joined PF less than a year ago, this same question has been asked at least 2 dozen times.
 
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  • #7
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Not to mention that since I joined PF less than a year ago, this same question has been asked at least 2 dozen times.
You're right, but I really don't mind answering the same question over and over again if people make it clear what they want and where they come from. Sometimes a book suitable for one person would not be suitable for another. So somebody wanting to study GR completely mathematically rigorous should get a different recommendation from somebody try to understand enough to program GPS tools.

But you're right, posts like the OP, with no background information at all, are asked tons of time. I usually refuse to answer them. But they're really annoying.
 
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  • #9
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But you're right, posts like the OP, with no background information at all, are asked tons of time. I usually refuse to answer them. But they're really annoying.
You can always look at their profile info. In this case it doesn't help + he is a new member. But he explicitly asks
fairly good mathematics for beginner for self study
That is a particular known level for General Relativity, so may be us knowing his background is somewhat irrelevant. Since he wants the math he will get the math.
 
  • #10
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HI, can anyone suggest a good book on general relativity with fairly good mathematics for beginner for self study?
Two classic textbooks that have survived over the years are:
1. Steven Weinberg, "Gravitation and Cosmology: Principles and Applications of the General Theory o Relativity" (Wiley, 1972)
2. Peter G. Bergmann, "Introduction to the Theory of Relativity" [with a foreword by Albert Einstein] (Original 1942; republished: (Dover Books on Physics) Dover Publications, 1976).
 
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Two classic textbooks that have survived over the years are:
1. Steven Weinberg, "Gravitation and Cosmology: Principles and Applications of the General Theory o Relativity" (Wiley, 1972)
2. Peter G. Bergmann, "Introduction to the Theory of Relativity" [with a foreword by Albert Einstein] (Original 1942; republished: (Dover Books on Physics) Dover Publications, 1976).
I think you can also find them both on line.
 
  • #14
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Also ideal may be:
D. F. Lawden, "Introduction to Tensor Calculus, Relativity and Cosmology" (Dover Books on Physics)
 
  • #15
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But has anyone noticed that the OP didn't even bother to check in (while every one else is offering their best)?! Or he was discouraged and "chased away"? May be he will return.
 
  • #16
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Also ideal may be:
D. F. Lawden, "Introduction to Tensor Calculus, Relativity and Cosmology" (Dover Books on Physics)
Yeah it is a good book ( I suggested above) for GR. For SR though, it uses ict.
 
  • #17
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yeah it is a good book ( isuggested above) for gr. For SR thought, it uses ict.
Ok. Thanks for pointing that out.
 
  • #18
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HI, can anyone suggest a good book on general relativity with fairly good mathematics for beginner for self study?
I wrote a book on relativity (both special and general, plus section on quantum mechanics) specifically for someone who knows little math but is interested in the math and logic of relativity. My premise is that even if you know only high school math (had good courses in algebra, trig, geometry, maybe pre-calc) I can walk you through the steps till you understand Einstein's field equations of general relativity, even how these are solved. I tried to address the amateur scientist or undergraduate student. It goes into gravity waves (to 2014), but of course there's been much progress on this lately. But if you know a lot about the subject already, you may find my treatment to be too slow. If you order a copy, please make sure the title is as follows (not my previous version also available whose title starts with "The Mathematics of Relativity...")
Amazon carries this: "Relativity Math Updated and Revised for the Rest of Us" by Louis Jagerman, 2014
 
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  • #19
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I wrote a book on relativity (both special and general, plus section on quantum mechanics) specifically for someone who knows little math but is interested in the math and logic of relativity. My premise is that even if you know only high school math (had good courses in algebra, trig, geometry, maybe pre-calc) I can walk you through the steps till you understand Einstein's field equations of general relativity, even how these are solved. I tried to address the amateur scientist or undergraduate student. It goes into gravity waves (to 2014), but of course there's been much progress on this lately. But if you know a lot about the subject already, you may find my treatment to be too slow. If you order a copy, please make sure the title is as follows (not my previous version also available whose title starts with "The Mathematics of Relativity...")
Amazon carries this: "Relativity Math Updated and Revised for the Rest of Us" by Louis Jagerman, 2014
Ordered it. Willing to give it a try.
 
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  • #20
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The following book is actually quite good for GR (Chapter 5 onwards) but I would not use it for SR as it uses the weird ict convention
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0486425401/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20
And
Yeah it is a good book ( I suggested above) for GR. For SR though, it uses ict.
When I saw your 1st post on Sat I didn't realize it was Lawden's book, until you pointed it out today.

Now as far as the "the weird ict convention", I personally like it, although I don't insist on suggesting it. [But in any case it's good to be flexible and get used to all conventions (it helps you understand relativity better)*[see next comment] - something like with software, computer programs, apps, versions and editions - flexibility is good ...]

The "ict" convention has the advantage of making the metric look like a Euclidean one (pseudoeuclidean metric), and I think that's exactly it's purpose. As far as I know, even Minkowski himself originaly used it.
 
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  • #21
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[But in any case it's good to be flexible and get used to all conventions (it helps you understand relativity better)*[see next comment] - something like with software, computer programs, apps, versions and editions - flexibility is good ...]
* For example, a good excercise is to always be able, once realizing which convention is used (in the space-time element and four-vectors), to write down directly the measure and the metric tensor. Then everything else onward is straightforward and easily follows ...
No confussion is allowed for one who grasps these! Better yet, it helps you understand better relativity and tensor calculus.
 
  • #22
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What do you like about the Hobson book?
Just the presentation, everything is laid out really clearly and the figures are great. Also there's a lot of physical discussion compared to the Schulz book.
 
  • #23
martinbn
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Here is my answer. You try one of theses:

1) a) Geroch "Relativity form A to B"
b) Geroch "Lecture notes on general relativity"
c) Wald "General Relativity"

or

2) a) Taylor, Wheeler "Space-time Physics"
b) Taylor, Wheeler "Exploring Black Hole: Introduction to General Relativity"
c) Misner, Thorne, Wheeler "Gravitation"
 

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