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Help on relativity

  1. May 16, 2005 #1


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    I have been asked.

    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.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2005 #2
    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.
  4. May 16, 2005 #3
    "Relativity Visualized" it is a title of the book? Who are the authors?
  5. May 16, 2005 #4


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    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"
  6. May 16, 2005 #5
    Yes. Lewis Carroll Epstein. It's called "eccentric" by the authors of the other book, Exploring Black Holes.
  7. May 16, 2005 #6


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    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.
  8. May 16, 2005 #7
    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.
  9. May 16, 2005 #8
    Nice site!
  10. May 16, 2005 #9


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    Thankyou all

    I hope my friend took my advice, and looked in on the expert advice
    given in this forum.
  11. May 19, 2005 #10


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    And a big thanks to you wolfram for assisting this person :smile:

    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?
  12. May 19, 2005 #11


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    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.


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