Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

General Relativity for Dummies

  1. Aug 6, 2009 #1
    Is there any way to explain the General Relativity equation(s) to a person only educated in high school algebra? I have been studying genera relativity for a while now but the mathematics I am a bit confused on, will anybody be willing to break it down algebraically for me?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2009 #2


    User Avatar

  4. Aug 6, 2009 #3
    I've seen Schutz's new book http://www.gravityfromthegroundup.org/ recommended as a nice introduction to special relativity and general relativity.

    To quote his preface:

    "This book has equations, but the equations use algebra and (a little) trigonometry,
    not advanced university mathematics. What is required in place of advanced
    mathematics is thought: readers are asked to reason carefully, to follow the links
    between subjects. You will find that you can climb the ladder from gravity on the
    Earth to gravity (and even anti-gravity) in the Universe if you go one step at a time,
    making sure you place each foot securely and carefully on the rungs as you climb.
    In return for putting in the thought that this book asks, you can get much further
    than you might have expected in understanding gravity and its manifestations in
    astronomy. School students and university undergraduates will find that this book
    offers them an early avenue into subjects that are usually regarded as much too
    advanced for them."

    Not sure if it's more basic that what you may be hoping for but it seems to be pitched at a nice level covering some of the ideas and applications of gravitational physics. Check the website, you can have a glance at the preface, table of contents and some excerpts from his book and see if it's what your looking for.

    Hope you find what you're looking for anyway!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook