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Book on Tensors/ GR

  1. Jun 2, 2010 #1

    could someone please suggest me a good book to learn both Tensors as well as General relativity? It has to be introductory.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2010 #2

    George Jones

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    What is your background in physics and math? Do you good working knowledge, (i.e, able to do textbook problems) of special relativity, multivariable calculus, and linear algebra?
  4. Jun 2, 2010 #3


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    I think the best introductory GR book is Carrol's (though this will depend on your level).
  5. Jun 2, 2010 #4
    I think Carroll's book will be way too mathematically challenging to someone who might just wish to learn the physics the first time around. Unless one is looking to learn things in a mathematical fashion, I wouldn't suggest Carroll. Since the OP is only asking for an intro text, I would certainly not go for Carroll straight away.


    As an intro text, I recommend Schutz's "A First Course In General Relativity". I myself am using it at the present as a reference. He has a really good presentation of the math involved while making certain the physics isn't sidelined.
  6. Jun 2, 2010 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    I don't have Schutz, but my understanding is that, contrary to the title it is primarily focused on SR, but it uses tensors and other such concepts that generalize easily. Is that correct?
  7. Jun 2, 2010 #6


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    The problem is that "intro" means many things to many people. Since Carroll's text is entitled "An Introduction to General Relativity", I assume there must be some people who would consider it an introductory text. But we can't really know more without hearing back from the OP.
  8. Jun 2, 2010 #7
    Here is the table of contents.
  9. Jun 2, 2010 #8
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Jun 2, 2010 #9
    general relativity - a guide for physicsts, by Hobson et al
  11. Jun 3, 2010 #10
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  12. Jun 3, 2010 #11
    For the money, consider Relativity Demystified by McMahon. You can buy them used on the internet for a few dollars.

    I just finished Chapter 4 on Tensor Calculus. It took much practice, but I am getting the hang of it.
  13. Jun 3, 2010 #12
    I don't think this is correct. He certainly spends about 100 pages or so on special relativity and develops it quite thoroughly, but that's expected for a first course since it develops much of the machinery before it gets generalized. I would go with Schutz and couple that with Alan Lightman's problems and solutions book. Hobson is certainly good too.
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