# Good Beginner's General Relativity Books?

• Relativity
In summary: It would be a great starting point for someone just starting out in relativity.For General Relativity, I would recommend some popularization books by the late Stephen Hawking.
I want to learn General Relativity so I am looking for a good beginners book with low amounts of math and clear explanations. Any suggestions?

GR is typically a last-level education in university standard physics, so we can only ask what your background in physical theories and mathematics is.
Until I know something, try some popularization books by the late Stephen Hawking.

Geroch - "Relativity from A to B"

I want to learn General Relativity so I am looking for a good beginners book with low amounts of math and clear explanations. Any suggestions?
I suggest you need to focus on SR and first try to understand the basic ideas of spacetime. There's no point in looking at GR until you have to some extent mastered SR.

You can, of course, read popular science books on GR and they will give you a flavour of the subject, but they can never give an understanding of the subject. In particular, without mathematics you cannot get more than a flavour of the physics.

For SR you could try Morin, the first chapter of which is free:

https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/david-morin/files/relativity_chap_1.pdf

Flat and Curved Space-Times ( Second edition ) - GFR Ellis and Ruth Williams.
A short course in General Relativity ( Third edition ) - James Foster and David Nightingale.

These can be readable only if you are familiar with Special relativity as others advised.

PhDeezNutz
You have a few threads on "I'd likento learn advanced physics, only without the foundations or math". This is unlikely to work.

Falgun and PhDeezNutz
John Wheeler, A Journey into Gravity and Spacetime

I like Landau&Lifshitz vol. 2. It provides the minimal necessary math (Ricci calculus using holonomous bases for given coordinates) and uses without much ado Hamilton's principle.

A bit more detailed an written for undergrads is

R. J. Adler, General Relativity and Cosmology: A First Encounter, Springer Nature Switzerland, Cham (2021),
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-61574-1

Demystifier
vanhees71 said:
R. J. Adler, General Relativity and Cosmology: A First Encounter, Springer Nature Switzerland, Cham (2021)

Interesting. How do you know? Both authors' first name is Ronald... BTW this older book is also very good, but definitely more at the graduate level:

R. Adler, M. Bazin and M. Schiffer, Introduction to general
relativity, McGraw-Hill Inc., New York, 2 edn. (1975).

Demystifier
vanhees71 said:
Interesting. How do you know? Both authors' first name is Ronald... BTW this older book is also very good, but definitely more at the graduate level:

R. Adler, M. Bazin and M. Schiffer, Introduction to general
relativity, McGraw-Hill Inc., New York, 2 edn. (1975).
Actually, I was wrong. It's the same Adler. The Amazon page of the new book says "...He is the co-author of a classic textbook on general relativity and has devoted over half a century to teaching physics students at a number of universities. ..."

I was misled by "J" and by a big time gap.

vanhees71
I want to learn General Relativity so I am looking for a good beginners book with low amounts of math and clear explanations. Any suggestions?
I agree with others that you should get an understanding of Special Relativity first, and then move on to General Relativity.

For Special Relativity, try this "for dummies" article: https://www.dummies.com/article/aca...e/physics/einsteins-special-relativity-193336
I don't konw why the "for dummies" publisher doesn't expand this topic into a book.

## 1. What is general relativity?

General relativity is a theory of gravity developed by Albert Einstein in the early 20th century. It describes how massive objects in the universe interact with each other and how they affect the fabric of space and time.

## 2. Why should I learn about general relativity?

General relativity is a fundamental theory in physics and has important implications for our understanding of the universe. It has been tested and verified through numerous experiments and observations, and has led to advancements in fields such as cosmology and astrophysics.

## 3. What are some good beginner's books on general relativity?

Some popular beginner's books on general relativity include "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking, "Introducing Einstein's Relativity" by Ray d'Inverno, and "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene. These books provide a clear and accessible introduction to the concepts of general relativity.

## 4. Do I need a strong background in math to understand general relativity?

While a basic understanding of math is helpful in understanding general relativity, it is not necessary to have a strong background in math. Many beginner's books on general relativity explain the concepts using simple and intuitive examples, making it accessible to a wide range of readers.

## 5. Can I learn general relativity without a formal education in physics?

Yes, it is possible to learn general relativity without a formal education in physics. Many beginner's books on the subject are written for a general audience and do not require advanced knowledge of physics. However, a basic understanding of scientific concepts and critical thinking skills will be helpful in fully grasping the concepts of general relativity.

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