Deriving the Lorentz Transformation

  • #26
pervect
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
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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.

https://archive.org/details/RelativityCommonSense

The material needed for the derivation starts around pg 71-127 or so if you want to get straight to the point.
 
  • #27
Philip Wood
Gold Member
1,221
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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.
 
  • #28
516
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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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