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Relativity Book on general relativity

  1. Jun 8, 2016 #1
    HI, can anyone suggest a good book on general relativity with fairly good mathematics for beginner for self study?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 8, 2016 #2


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  4. Jun 8, 2016 #3


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    What is your current mathematical level?
  5. Jun 9, 2016 #4
    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.
  6. Jun 11, 2016 #5


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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
  7. Jun 11, 2016 #6
    Not to mention that since I joined PF less than a year ago, this same question has been asked at least 2 dozen times.
  8. Jun 11, 2016 #7
    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.
  9. Jun 11, 2016 #8
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  10. Jun 11, 2016 #9
    You can always look at their profile info. In this case it doesn't help + he is a new member. But he explicitly asks
    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.
  11. Jun 11, 2016 #10
    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).
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
  12. Jun 12, 2016 #11
    I think you can also find them both on line.
  13. Jun 13, 2016 #12
  14. Jun 13, 2016 #13
  15. Jun 13, 2016 #14
    Also ideal may be:
    D. F. Lawden, "Introduction to Tensor Calculus, Relativity and Cosmology" (Dover Books on Physics)
  16. Jun 13, 2016 #15
    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.
  17. Jun 13, 2016 #16
    Yeah it is a good book ( I suggested above) for GR. For SR though, it uses ict.
  18. Jun 13, 2016 #17
    Ok. Thanks for pointing that out.
  19. Jun 14, 2016 #18
    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
  20. Jun 14, 2016 #19
    Ordered it. Willing to give it a try.
  21. Jun 14, 2016 #20
    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
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