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I am looking for a gift book on GR

  1. Feb 23, 2007 #1

    I have a friend who likes physics as a hobby (like me) and will have his anniversary soon.
    He owns already a nice collection of classics, including MTW for example.
    His oldest son just started physics at university.

    What would you suggest as possible gifts for this friend?
    I would consider GR as the best topic, but QM or other subject could be nice too.
    The content should be of high quality, but it could "recreative" as well as very "serious" as long as it is not "blindly professional".

    Thanks for yours suggestions,

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2007 #2
    I've just finished reading Becker, Becker, and Schwarz's "String Theory and M-Theory." It's obviously not a GR book, but it's a really nice introduction to the subject nonetheless. In fact, it's probably the first string theory book that actually feels as though it's describing a 'mature' subject.

    If you're set on getting a GR book, apart from Wald (which is an obvious choice) I'd reccommend Sean Carroll's book. However, since your friend already has MTW, there's nothing in Carroll that won't already be familiar to him.

    A stocking filler is Dirac's beautiful little "lectures on quantum mechanics." You can get a Dover Press edition of this and it's absolutely fantastic. The amount of trouble this little thing has caused over the years is astonishing. :-)

    Finally, what about https://www.amazon.com/Future-Theor...ef=sr_1_1/102-2034452-4520930?ie=UTF8&s=books? Some of the chapters are definitely on the "blindly professional" side of things, but the majority of the book consists of very understandable review chapters.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  4. Feb 23, 2007 #3
    Penrose, The Road to Reality
    Lawrie, A Unified Grand Tour of Theoretical Physics, 2nd ed.
    Pais, Subtle Is the Lord
    Schweber, QED and the Men Who Made It
  5. Feb 23, 2007 #4
    Have you considered more than one? I.e. get a copy of both a GR book and a QM book. That could be too much money though.

    I recommend that you run down to a decent book store an look around. Something may pop out at you. Steven Weinberg's GR text is a good one.

    Best wishes

  6. Feb 24, 2007 #5
    Or Dirac's little book on GR, or the QM classic, Principles of QM.
  7. Feb 24, 2007 #6


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    The thing is, there's nothing more silly than to offer a book to someone that that person has already. If your friend already has MTW, there's a chance he has some other classics too...
  8. Feb 24, 2007 #7


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