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Book [Special relativity]

  1. Dec 28, 2009 #1
    I think I need a good book(s) on SR. Please let me know which you think are good. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2009 #2


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    Re: book

    * E. F. Taylor, J. A. Wheeler, “Spacetime Physics“, W. H. Freeman (2nd edition, 1992).
    * A. P. French, “Special Relativity“, W. W. Norton & Company (1968).
    * W. Rindler, “Introduction to Special Relativity“, Oxford University Press (2nd ed. 1991).
  4. Dec 29, 2009 #3
    Re: book

    Thank you xantox
  5. Dec 29, 2009 #4


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    I second xantox's suggestion of Taylor and Wheeler. French is 40 years out of date, and that's a long time, especially when it comes to the connection with experiment; it predates some the classic, conceptually direct tests of SR that I think are the best pedagogically (Hafele-Keating's atomic clocks on airplanes, and the CERN high-precision muon decay experiment). IMO French's style is dull and cumbersome.
  6. Dec 29, 2009 #5

    George Jones

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    I third Taylor and Wheeler, but I like the (red) paperback version of the first edition. I forget why I prefer the first edition over later later edition(s) (I have compared editions). I prefer the paperback version over the hardcover version of the first edition because the paperback edition has solutions (not just answers) to the problems. My battered and beaten copy (I got it while in high school) is in the bottom left of


    Another introduction to special relativity that I really like is A Traveler's Guide To Spacetime: An introduction to the Special Theory of Relativity by Thomas Moore. Moore's book is maybe a little easier to read than Taylor and Wheeler.
  7. Dec 31, 2009 #6
    No rapidity in the 2nd edition.

    To the books already mentioned, I'd add N. David Mermin's Space and Time in Special Relativity. This was updated (or watered down depending on your perspective) as
    It's About Time: Understanding Einstein's Relativity.
  8. Jan 1, 2010 #7

    Doc Al

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    I'll second the recommendation for both of Mermin's books. They sit side by side on my shelf.
  9. Jan 1, 2010 #8
    Thanks all. I anxiously await my Amazon delivery.
  10. Jan 1, 2010 #9
    Definitely John A. Wheeler's "Spacetime Physics"
  11. Jan 1, 2010 #10
    Also, Richard Wolfson's "Simply Einstein: Relativity Demystified"
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