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Exceptional books on GR and Differential Geometry

  1. Jan 6, 2009 #1
    Hi all,

    I'm taking an introduction to general relativity course along with an elementary differential geometry course this term. I'm really interested in this stuff and I've been waiting 3.5 years to take these courses, so I'm really excited.

    Which textbooks have you all come across that introduce this material in an exceptional manner? I currently have Hartle for GR and Pressley for DG.

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  3. Jan 8, 2009 #2


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  4. Jan 23, 2009 #3
    Here, we are using Hartle's book. I think it's very good for an undergrad. It's very clear and concise, and I like his philosophy. Before going in the gory details, he takes a lot of time to play with equations for us to gain some intuition.
  5. Jan 24, 2009 #4
    I like Boothby and John M. Lee for differential geometry.
  6. Jan 24, 2009 #5
    I think Robert Wald's book on General Relativity is quite good. It seems to be more mathematically rigorous, with actual proofs. My favorite for Differential Geometry is 'Riemannian Geometry and Geometric Analysis' by Jurgen Jost. The latter is very concise, although it gives a very good geometric viewpoint, for those able to take it in.
  7. Jan 26, 2009 #6


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    I'm using those lecture notes, as well as 'A First Course in General Relativity' by Bernard F Schutz for my GR course. I find both of them very clear.
  8. Jan 26, 2009 #7
    I have both Wald and Carroll.

    Carroll's book is much better than his notes, more elaborate and physically motivated. The section on Cosmology is quite good. I also read Hartle's book in a bookstore today, it seemed to slouch off the rigorous mathematics in place of simpler equations.

    Wald is definitely a hard, hard book; especially for an introduction to the subject. However, it is an excellent supplement to a GR course.
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