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Relativity Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler

  1. Strongly Recommend

    70.8%
  2. Lightly Recommend

    20.8%
  3. Lightly don't Recommend

    4.2%
  4. Strongly don't Recommend

    4.2%
  1. Jan 24, 2013 #1

    micromass

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2013 #2

    PAllen

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    How to evaluate? Not good as textbook, very dated. Great for many insights and derivations. Some surprising omissions (more general electrovac solutions; axially symmetric solutions), even for its day (e.g. things Synge covered well in 1960 book that are missing in MTW). Emotionally, I want to say strongly recommend, but on balance, today, I put lightly recommend.
     
  4. Jan 24, 2013 #3

    jedishrfu

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    I strongly recommended it because I got to do an independent study with it as a preprint and then later with the first edition hardcover which I still have. It was my first formal Introduction to GR which I enjoyed studying. It was during my senior year and I had a rough time in the independent study while working 30hrs per week not getting the homework done fast enough for the prof running the independent study.
     
  5. Jan 24, 2013 #4

    WannabeNewton

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    I must agree with PAllen on this one: I tried more than once but this book is just all over the place and a pedagogical mess. It is a horrible medium for learning the subject; it serves better as a reference text. There are many GR books out there that are far more elegant in the exposition and imbued with modern differential geometry (Wald for example).
     
  6. Jan 24, 2013 #5

    jedishrfu

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    I don't disagree, my vote for strongly agree is based on sentimental values and I wish I were in school today instead of work where they expect results.

    The book also had a novel tracks scheme so that you could cover a core level and then go thru the book again at a more advanced level which was quite novel at the time.
     
  7. Jan 24, 2013 #6

    WannabeNewton

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    Yes it seems the book holds a lot of sentimental value for many people which is a great thing. There may be people with a certain mindset about physics who would find MTW better but I personally like books that are more mathematical / abstract when it comes to physics topics that allow such abstraction. It is still a great reference tome though as I think you would agree.
     
  8. Jan 24, 2013 #7

    jedishrfu

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    I agree (also I was the one who requested it to be posted).
     
  9. Jan 24, 2013 #8

    bcrowell

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    This is a great and unique book that belongs on the shelf of anyone with a serious interest in relativity. It has two tracks, so you can skip all the side-trips if you like. It's unique because at the time it was published it was a pretty comprehensive encyclopedia of techniques you needed if you wanted to get started as a professional relativist. I wouldn't recommend it as a textbook today because it's so out of date.
     
  10. Jan 25, 2013 #9
    Every time that I pull this off the shelf, something that I read somewhere else in another GR book clicks with me. My one and only problem with this book is how scattered the information is. For example, there is stuff scattered throughout the book on tensors and it would have been nice if they just collected it all into one or two giant chapters.
     
  11. Apr 17, 2013 #10

    atyy

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    We dedicate this book
    To our fellow citizens
    Who, for love of truth,
    Take from their own wants
    By taxes and gifts,
    And now and then send forth
    One of themselves as dedicated servant,
    To forward the search into the mysteries and marvelous simplicities
    Of this strange and beautiful Universe,
    Our home.
     
  12. Jun 17, 2014 #11

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    BTW, does someone know if all the problems in this MTW book were completely solved, and in case that they were, do you happen to know where may I find this complete solutions manual?

    I read somewhere that some of the problems in it appear in the white problems book in GR, but surely not all of them, right?

    I am asking on one part, is that I think someday to embark on a journey through this book, and try to solve most (if not all of it, I am sure now it looks quite horrific to do, and quite consuming hobby) of the problems in it, so if there is a known solution manual then I will give up on this, and will pay more attention to understand the solutions (maybe expand on them).

    Perhaps I need to contact Kip Thorne.
    I'll let you know if he'll reply.
    (BTW this is not the only telephone book that I am thinking of understanding the solutions in it, also Sedra and Smith in Microelectronics, but for this one I do have the solution manual, I reackon there will be mistakes in the solutions manual which hopefully I'll spot and correct; part of the learning proccess is not just knowing the solutions, but also understand them, why every step follows from the former etc; headaches galore... :-D ).
     
  13. Jun 17, 2014 #12

    WannabeNewton

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    I would presume that they have all been solved but no full solutions manual exists (trust me I've searched). However you won't need one for most of the problems in MTW as you'll know the starting pointing and the ending point, you just need to know the middle passage so if you get stuck you can always ask for help here or elsewhere; I haven't solved all of the problems in MTW but I can help wherever possible. MTW problems do tend to vary wildly in conceptual vs. computational difficulty in my experience. However the problems in MTW and those in Lightman et al are infinitely better than those in most other GR books with the exception of Rindler's book.

    Certainly not all of them, no, but there are quite a few overlaps between the two. But Lightman et al is an invaluable reference because of the extremely elegant solutions to problems provided. It's funny because one of the authors of Lightman et al was my QM professor and he stressed the exact same elegant techniques in solutions that he and the other authors stressed in the GR problem book aforementioned.
     
  14. Jun 17, 2014 #13

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    Yes, I have the two books (hard copies).

    I haven't yet found time of reading them carefully, but I am sure that someday I'll find time to systematically reading through them.
     
  15. Feb 15, 2015 #14
    I too have this magnificent compendium which I acquired whilst in college 1973. Now retired hope to get back into reading it.
     
  16. Aug 9, 2016 #15
    Is there an online errata for this book? I assume the published version does still have the odd mistake. Almost always when I can't understand something in the book it is because I'm confused, so when there is a mistake in the book I spend ages trying to work out where I have gone wrong. I'm just looking at page 141 last 2 lines of exercise 5.1, which says there is a tension of (E2+B2) along the field lines ... etc. I'm 99.9% sure that this is wrong and that it is only right when the magnetic field is parallel to the electric field. I would be happier to be 100% sure, and it occurred to me that there may be an errata for the book online somewhere.
     
  17. Aug 9, 2016 #16

    TSny

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    Yes, I think you are right.

    It could be that they meant to word the question similar to the wording at the very bottom of page 140 where they describe the tension and pressure for E field lines separately from the tension and pressure for B field lines. Then the two fields would not need to be parallel. (At the end of the question statement they do say, "as stated in the text".)
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
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