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A How much Point Set Topology do I need to read Hawking/Ellis?

  1. Jul 22, 2016 #1
    I'm trying to prepare to read The Large Scale Structure Of Space-time by Hawking and Ellis. I've been reading a General Topology textbook since the authors say "While we expect that most of our readers will have some acquaintance with General Relativity, we have endeavored to write this book so that it is self contained apart from requiring a knowledge of simple calculus, algebra, and point set topology." Can somebody who has read the book create a short list of topics from point set topology that I need to learn before understanding the content? I could simply continue reading the rest of the General Topology textbook (Bourbaki) but it's a bit mind numbing and confusing at the same time, and I suspect much of the topics that I would read about are not necessary for a book about GR.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2016 #2


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    I think the answer to this (and similar questions like it) relies on what specifically are you hoping to get out of the book. Are you looking to prove everything rigorously? Or just get some overview of methods and methods of calculation? Or something in between?

    For me, I would just march onward. If I get stuck on something I really want to know but I am not adequately prepared for it, then I use another reference alongside it. Otherwise, I fear that I will get bogged down on getting prepared/overprepared rather than getting to what I really want.

    My $0.03.
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