Deriving the Lorentz Transformation


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any good not that expensive/free ones? I still gotta buy all my books for next semester =\
You can download Bondi's "Relativity and common sense", which is written at the high school level, and derives the Lorentz transform using radar based methods and a bit of high-school level algebra. It's an old book and available on the internet archive. I assume that means it's public domain, or it wouldn't be available there, but I don't know how to confirm it's public domain status. You can also read it online, but it's easier to download it and use a pdf reader.

The material needed for the derivation starts around pg 71-127 or so if you want to get straight to the point.

Philip Wood

Gold Member
You either like Bondi's radar (or 'k calculus') approach or you don't. Taylor and Wheeler's Spacetime Physics is a classic. By stressing the invariant interval between events in SR it brings out the geometrical aspect of SR much better than most earlier textbooks, and also makes the algebra less clunky. I don't much like the way the book is laid out, but that's my old-fashioned taste. A very simply and carefully explained text for beginners is James H Smith: Intro to SR. I believe Dover now publish it. But it's pre Taylor/Wheeler in approach.
thank you everyone for your suggestions. If it helps to narrow down a best choice, my background is that i have taken calc 1 (differential calculus) ,calc 2 (integral calculus) and 2 intro physics courses, one for newtonian mechanics and one for waves and optics

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