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General Theory of Relativity ?

  1. May 27, 2008 #1
    As a beginner which book should i study for GTR & does it require to have knowledge of tensor algebra ? If yes then suggest me a book for that too .
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2008 #2


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    You'll need to tell us your current level of maths/physics before we can answer this. You may also want to search this forum for previous threads on the topic.
  4. May 28, 2008 #3
    Hartle tries to present as much physics as possible before introducing tensors. His book is also among the most up to date. The place to start for GR, though I'd want to have a good grounding in SR first.


    Some other books of interest:


    A more advanced book that covers some GR calculations by "deriving" linear gravitational field equations in analogy with electrodynamics:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  5. May 28, 2008 #4
    I learned tensor calculus from my GR text....
  6. May 28, 2008 #5
    Yeah most of the GR textbooks (even Wald) introduce the math needed along the way including tensors, tetrads, tangent spaces, covariant derivaties, Lie derivatives etc etc

    As Daverz mentioned the most gentle introduction is Hartle, I think it only presumes calculus. After that either Schutz or Ohanion are good for an advanced undergrad text. In between undergrad and grad stands Carroll and MTW (Misner, Wheeler, Thorne), and they are suitable for a senior or a first year grad student. And then THE grad text is Wald. All of them start from scratch, but they have increasing levels of mathematical sophistication.
  7. Jun 4, 2008 #6
    I learnt from Cheng, which is a nice book on the same level as Hartle if you don't want too many details. It doesn't cover Black Holes in detail, but covers more Cosmology than Hartle. I studied from it because I wanted Cosmology.

    Hartle is better, from what I've seen, but Cheng's book has only 300 pages, as opposed to Hartle's 600+. (I was a little short of time, because of a 15-day summer school.)
  8. Jun 5, 2008 #7
    i have two ebooks on this . 1st one by P.A.M dirac & 2nd by A 1st course in relativity by Bernard F Schutz, which one shud i read ?
  9. Jun 6, 2008 #8
    Go for Schutz. Dirac's book is not for beginners. Also, you need to solve exersices to learn effectively.
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