# Help on Relativity for HSC Student from India

• wolram
In summary, a person who has just completed their HSC from India is looking for recommendations on books to help them learn general relativity, tensors, and advanced calculus. Some suggested books include "Exploring Black Holes" by Edwin F. Taylor and John Archibald Wheeler, "Relativity Visualized" by Lewis Carroll Epstein, "Flat and Curved Space-Times" by George F. R. Ellis and Ruth M. Williams, "A Short Course in General Relativity" by James Foster and J. David Nightingale, and "Introduction to Differential Geometry & General Relativity" by Stefan Waner. Other resources suggested include online lecture notes and tutorials by Sean Carroll, John Baez, and Gerard 't H
wolram
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i have just done my hsc from India
can u just help me learn general relativity and tensors and advanced calculus by just giving names of a few books

As i am no expert, can anyone help.

I suggest you skip tensors until you grasp general relativity the easy way, requiring "only algebra, elementary differential calculus, and a handful of integrals" as the book Exploring Black Holes: Introduction to General Relativity bills itself. Another good book, with hardly any math, is Relativity Visualized.

"Relativity Visualized" it is a title of the book? Who are the authors?

A great (but apparently overlooked) introductory/intermediate book is
Flat and Curved Space-Times
by George F. R. Ellis, Ruth M. Williams

If you google its ISBN, 0198506562 ,
you can see some of the pages from the text.
Near the top, click on "Flat and Curved Space-Times - by George F. R. Ellis, Ruth M. Williams - 375 pages"

Neitrino said:
"Relativity Visualized" it is a title of the book? Who are the authors?

Yes. Lewis Carroll Epstein. It's called "eccentric" by the authors of the other book, Exploring Black Holes.

wolram said:

i have just done my hsc from India
can u just help me learn general relativity and tensors and advanced calculus by just giving names of a few books

As i am no expert, can anyone help.

I'd look at the sci.physics.realtivity booklist

I've heard a lot of good things about Schutz's book on this list, but I haven't read it myself.

I did general relativity as an autodidact myself and may have some experience in finding resources without any help from outside. I first did SR of course. I downloaded lots of resources from the web, mostly lecture notes from various universities. Despite all this free info I found that a good textbook is an absolute necessity, so I bought:
Foster&Nightingale: A short course in General Relativity

I first did tensor calculus by studying the textbook and:
Heinbockel: Introduction to Tensor Calculus and Continuum Mechanics (only part 1) (http://www.math.odu.edu/~jhh/counter2.html)
S. Waner: Introduction to Differential Geometry & General Relativity (http://people.hofstra.edu/faculty/Stefan_Waner/diff_geom/tc.html )

Then on to GR itself with the textbook and:
S. Carroll: Lecture Notes on General Relativity (http://pancake.uchicago.edu/~carroll/notes/)
John Baez: General Relativity Tutorial (http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/gr/gr.html)
G. 't Hooft: Introduction to general relativity (http://www.phys.uu.nl/~thooft/lectures/genrel.pdf )

These were what I personally thought to be the most interesting sources. There's lots more available but not all of it is suitable for selfstudy.
I also recommend Gerard 't Hooft's page "How to become a good theroretical physicist" (http://www.phys.uu.nl/~thooft/theorist.html)
He was so kind to add some of my suggestions (and even my name!) to his site.

Last edited by a moderator:
Mortimer said:
I also recommend Gerard 't Hooft's page "How to become a good theroretical physicist" (http://www.phys.uu.nl/~thooft/theorist.html)
He was so kind to add some of my suggestions (and even my name!) to his site.

Nice site!

Thankyou all

I hope my friend took my advice, and looked in on the expert advice
given in this forum.

And a big thanks to you wolfram for assisting this person

I don't know if they have sufficient internet access to warrant it, or are confident enough with their (written) English, but why not encourage them to become a PF member?

Dirac's 70 page textbook [1] is the quickest way to nongeometric GR.After all,Dirac was a field theorist,so no diff.geom. prerequisites.

Daniel.

--------------------------------------------------------
[1]P.A.M.Dirac,"General Relativity",1975.(i don't remember the publisher).

## 1. What is the theory of relativity?

The theory of relativity is a set of two theories developed by Albert Einstein in the early 20th century. These theories, known as the special theory of relativity and the general theory of relativity, fundamentally changed our understanding of space, time, and gravity.

## 2. How does the theory of relativity impact our daily lives?

The theory of relativity has significant implications for our daily lives. For example, it is responsible for the phenomenon of time dilation, which states that time moves slower for objects in motion. This is important for GPS technology, as the satellites in orbit must account for this effect in order to accurately track location data.

## 3. What is the difference between special and general relativity?

Special relativity deals with objects in uniform motion and the effects of this motion on space and time. General relativity, on the other hand, deals with the effects of gravity on objects in motion and how it warps space and time. Simply put, special relativity is a special case of general relativity.

## 4. Can you explain the concept of space-time in relativity?

In relativity, space and time are no longer separate entities, but are instead combined into a single concept known as space-time. This means that the fabric of the universe is made up of both space and time, and the measurement of one can affect the measurement of the other.

## 5. How does the theory of relativity challenge our previous understanding of the universe?

The theory of relativity completely changed our understanding of the universe. It challenged the long-held belief that space and time were absolute, and instead proposed that they were relative to the observer's frame of reference. It also provided a new understanding of gravity and how it affects the motion of objects in the universe.

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