INTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO relativity

  • Thread starter M.M.M
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INTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

hello everybody ..

I hope you are all okey.

i have seen a lot of discussions in what are the best introduction to the field of relativity
or the special theory of relativity be Albert ein.

MY QUESTION NOW IS WHAT ARE THE BEST INTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO THIS FIELD ?
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
thrill3rnit3
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I hope you are all obey.

Who are we? Slaves?? :rofl:
 
  • #3
malawi_glenn
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I have used

Introduction to Special Relativity by Wolfgang Rindler (0198539525)

General Relativity: An Introduction for Physicists by M. P. Hobson (also teach you special relativity, 0521829518)

Relativity, Gravitation, and Cosmology: A Basic Introduction by Ta-Pei Cheng (0198529562)
 
  • #4
George Jones
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Since you have completed first-year physics and math, I recommend looking at special relativity. My personal recommendations for special relativity are:

A Traveler's Guide To Spacetime: An introduction to the Special Theory of Relativity by Thomas Moore;

Spacetime Physics by Taylor and Wheeler.

For Spacetime Physics, the first edition paperback version is best. Later editions aren't as good, and the hardcover first edition doesn't have solutions to the problems.

Once you have mastered the material in second-year math and introductory Lagrangian mechanics, introductions to general relativity will be accessible. My favourites are

Gravity:An Introduction to Einstein's Relativity by James Hartle

for a "physics first" approach, and

General Relativity: An Introduction for Physicists by Hobson, Efstathiou, and Lasenby (which malawi_glenn has also recommended)

for a "math first" approach. For some time, I've been meaning to write a post about the difference between these two approaches to teaching general relativity.
 
  • #5
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thank you mr.malawi_glenn & mr.George ...
 
  • #6
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  • #7
xristy
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One small change since perhaps the last time this topic was visited is that a wonderful old work is back in print. It is Lillian Lieber's "The Einstein Theory of Relativity: A Trip to the Fourth Dimension". This is somewhat dated in some respects but really worth looking at for an introduction to both Special and General Relativity. The new edition has added notes and so on that make it even more valuable.
 
  • #8
malawi_glenn
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Is it a physics textbook or just a "word" book, i.e. more "popular science aligned" ?
 
  • #9
xristy
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It's a physics text not a word text. From the preface:

=====
Many "popular" discussions of
Relativity,
without any mathematics at all,
have been written.
But we doubt whether
even the best of these
can possibly give to a novice
an adequate idea of
what it is all about.
What is very clear when expressed
in mathematical language
sounds "mystical" in
ordinary language.
On the other hand,
there are many discussions,
including Einstein's own papers,
which are accessible to the
experts only.

We believe that
there is a class of readers
who can get very little out of
either of these two kinds of
discussion
readers who know enough about
mathematics
to follow a simple mathematical presentation
of a domain new to them,
built from the ground up,
with sufficient details to
bridge the gaps that exist
FOR THEM
in both
the popular and the expert
presentations.
======

The book introduces contra and covariant tensors and effects on them due to coordinate transformations and so on. Christoffel symbols, the curvature tensor and so on are clearly defined. It really is a rare treatment.
 
  • #10
Doc Al
Mentor
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One small change since perhaps the last time this topic was visited is that a wonderful old work is back in print. It is Lillian Lieber's "The Einstein Theory of Relativity: A Trip to the Fourth Dimension". This is somewhat dated in some respects but really worth looking at for an introduction to both Special and General Relativity. The new edition has added notes and so on that make it even more valuable.
I loved that book! (Many, many years ago...) I didn't know there was a new edition. Cool! I'm pretty sure I still have a hardcover first edition in my pile.
 
  • #11
malawi_glenn
Science Advisor
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It's a physics text not a word text. From the preface:

=====
Many "popular" discussions of
Relativity,
without any mathematics at all,
have been written.
But we doubt whether
even the best of these
can possibly give to a novice
an adequate idea of
what it is all about.
What is very clear when expressed
in mathematical language
sounds "mystical" in
ordinary language.
On the other hand,
there are many discussions,
including Einstein's own papers,
which are accessible to the
experts only.

We believe that
there is a class of readers
who can get very little out of
either of these two kinds of
discussion
readers who know enough about
mathematics
to follow a simple mathematical presentation
of a domain new to them,
built from the ground up,
with sufficient details to
bridge the gaps that exist
FOR THEM
in both
the popular and the expert
presentations.
======

The book introduces contra and covariant tensors and effects on them due to coordinate transformations and so on. Christoffel symbols, the curvature tensor and so on are clearly defined. It really is a rare treatment.

Cool, I could only read pages on Amazon which were abscent of formulas :-)
OR wait, I was looking at the wrong book
 
  • #16
537
3


Isn't that considered as a "second" text in relativity? I found his internet notes very advanced when I started this field..

Probably so. It looks like you all are familiar with the original poster, which I'm not, and so I wasn't sure about the background of M.M.M (reading back it looks like I missed M.M.M is in their second year). I saw all the more introductory books listed, but I thought I might as well post it since it seems to me a good book to have in mind as a goal maybe.
 
  • #17
malawi_glenn
Science Advisor
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Probably so. It looks like you all are familiar with the original poster, which I'm not, and so I wasn't sure about the background of M.M.M (reading back it looks like I missed M.M.M is in their second year). I saw all the more introductory books listed, but I thought I might as well post it since it seems to me a good book to have in mind as a goal maybe.

Well the title suggest Introductory :-)

and there are introduction in several layers, like Cottingham's "Introduction to the standard Model"... clearly NOT an introductory book I would say
 

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