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  1. Aug 2, 2011 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I graduated with a bachelor's degree in physics from Rutgers College in 1981. I have had a great career in database design and have kept up with developments in physics mostly through authors like Stephen Hawkins and Brian Green. I have never lost my passion for physics.

    As I approached 50 I decided to climb my intellectual Mt. Everest (no way I was going to climb the real thing!) and learn the mathematics required to really understand general relativity. I have been slogging through tensor calculus for about a year now and a lot of lights have turned on for me.

    I am looking forward to searching these forums and asking some questions and sharing the excitement!

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2011 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Hi jmatt, welcome to PF!

    And good luck climbing Everest. The view is great, but the trek can leave you dizzy :smile:
  4. Aug 2, 2011 #3

    Ben Niehoff

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    That's Stephen Hawking. *cringe*

    Anyway, if "slogging" is how you describe it, then I can make a good guess what book you've been using...

    If my guess is correct, you are probably using Misner, Thorne and Wheeler. I have to say, this book is the most tedious presentation of GR and differential geometry I have ever seen. They make all the math sound much more confusing than it really is.

    A book I would highly recommend is Sean Carroll's. It will be more like taking the ski lift, comparatively. :)
  5. Aug 2, 2011 #4


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    I second Space time and Geometry. That book is a godsend. It manages to remove that intimidating aura around Wald's book to boot.
  6. Aug 2, 2011 #5
    Thanks for your advice and your welcome!

    I clearly remember the physics library at Rutgers had the Misner, Thorne and Wheeler book back in 1980 when I was an undergrad. I thought it was the coolest thing I ever saw!

    Actually I have “A First Course in General Relativity” by Bernard Schutz and lot’s web resources. Also reading “The Road to Reality” by Roger Penrose

    I just ordered the Carrol book. Not cheap but I feel like I need at fresh Sherpa!
  7. Aug 2, 2011 #6


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    What's your favorite fish, jmatt?
  8. Aug 2, 2011 #7
    hagfish because it’s so wonderfully disgusting
  9. Aug 2, 2011 #8
    *slaps jmatt with a disgusting hagfish*

    http://files.myopera.com/Chyren/files/fishSlap1a.gif [Broken]

    Anyway, good luck on your journey and I hope you'll learn a lot here!!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  10. Aug 2, 2011 #9


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    I hope micromass didn't slap you too hard for your initiation.

    Welcome to Physics Forums.
  11. Aug 2, 2011 #10


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    Welcome jmatt! I hope you enjoy your stay.
  12. Aug 2, 2011 #11


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    Hey, I just got hit with fish slime... eww... welcome jmat, phtooey, phtooey...
    Your first duty is to post on your favorite pastime, hopefully it is fishing...

    Rhody... :tongue:
  13. Aug 2, 2011 #12
    wow i never knew getting hit by a hagfish could be so ... welcoming.

    thanks everyone!

    favorite pastime? French red wine and flailing on the electric guitar.
  14. Aug 20, 2011 #13
    The Carrol book arrived a couple of weeks ago and I have just now dived in. Wow, wonderful writing at exactly the level i craved. Thanks for the recommendations!

    As an aside, I wanted to say what a joy a well made, written and illustrated physical book is. I am not a Luddite, eBooks are useful and fill a need but the physical feel of a beautiful book will never be obsolete (I hope)!
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