Finding a Textbook for General Relativity and String Theory

In summary, the conversation discusses a person's interest in learning more about General Relativity and String Theory and asks for textbook recommendations appropriate for their level of understanding. A few recommended books are discussed, including Schutz's "A First Course in General Relativity," Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler's "Gravity," and Hartle's "Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity." Sean Carroll's introductory GR course is also mentioned as a personal favorite.
  • #1
Wannabeagenius
91
0
Hi All,

I know virtually nothing about General Relativity except that which is shown on the usual PBS channels and would like to delve into it in more depth. My level of understanding physics is at the upper undergraduate to lower graduate level.

Could someone recommend a textbook for me that would be appropriate for this level?

The same desire and question applies to String Theory but something tells me that I simply don't have the background to tackle that one. I'm hoping that I have the background to tackle General Relativity in some depth.

Thanks in advance,

Bob
 
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  • #2
I'm a currently reading Schutz's book : A First Course in General Relativity.

It's quite an easy one, you won't need more than linear algebra, multivariable calculus, mechanics and special relativity (although this last one is covered in the text, but not deeply enough). If you know multilinear algebra and fluid mechanics it will be even more easier.

As the mathematics in this book aren't always the more rigorous, try reading "Gravity" (Misner, Thorne, Wheeler) once you've read Schutz's (but don't begin with MTW).
 
  • #3
it's gravitation.
Assuming I would first learn differential geometry, then could I start learning from MTW?
 
  • #5
And my personal all-time favorite introductory GR course (rigorous on the maths, but not overdone): Sean Carroll (improved version is also available as a book, but the lecture notes are for free :smile:)
 
  • #6
TeTeC said:
Schutz's book: A First Course in General Relativity.

I would recommend this one too.
 
  • #7
I'd second robphy's recommendation of Hartle.
 

Related to Finding a Textbook for General Relativity and String Theory

1. Where can I find a textbook for general relativity and string theory?

There are many places where you can find a textbook for general relativity and string theory. Some popular options include online retailers such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble, university bookstores, and specialized physics bookstores. You can also check with your local library to see if they have a copy available.

2. What are some recommended textbooks for learning about general relativity and string theory?

Some highly recommended textbooks for general relativity and string theory include "Gravitation" by Charles Misner, Kip Thorne, and John Wheeler, "A First Course in String Theory" by Barton Zwiebach, and "Introduction to General Relativity" by Gerard 't Hooft. It's always a good idea to read reviews and compare different textbooks to find one that fits your learning style and level of understanding.

3. Are there any online resources for learning about general relativity and string theory?

Yes, there are many online resources available for learning about general relativity and string theory. Some popular options include online lecture notes from universities, video lectures on platforms like YouTube or Coursera, and interactive simulations and animations. You can also find forums and discussion groups where you can ask questions and engage with others who are also learning about these topics.

4. How do I know if a textbook is suitable for my level of understanding?

It's important to carefully read the description and reviews of a textbook before making a purchase. Some textbooks may be geared towards advanced students or researchers, while others may be more suitable for beginners. You can also check the preface or introduction of the textbook to see if the author provides information about the intended audience and level of difficulty.

5. Can I use a textbook on general relativity or string theory for self-study?

Yes, you can certainly use a textbook for self-study. However, these topics can be quite challenging, so it's important to be dedicated and disciplined in your studies. It can also be helpful to supplement your learning with online resources, video lectures, or joining a study group to discuss difficult concepts. Additionally, seeking guidance from a mentor or professor can also be beneficial in your self-study journey.

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