INTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO relativity

  1. 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 ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. thrill3rnit3

    thrill3rnit3 712
    Gold Member

    Re: NTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

    Who are we? Slaves?? :rofl:
     
  4. malawi_glenn

    malawi_glenn 4,726
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    Re: NTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

    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)
     
  5. George Jones

    George Jones 6,414
    Staff Emeritus
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    Re: NTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

    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.
     
  6. Re: NTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

    thank you mr.malawi_glenn & mr.George ...
     
  7. Re: NTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

    Not much has changed since the last time we covered this topic.

    I second the recommendation for the original red paperback edition of Spacetime Physics.

    For GR, I think Hartle's Gravity is still the best place to start.
     
  8. xristy

    xristy 116
    Gold Member

    Re: INTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

    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.
     
  9. malawi_glenn

    malawi_glenn 4,726
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    Re: NTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

    Is it a physics textbook or just a "word" book, i.e. more "popular science aligned" ?
     
  10. xristy

    xristy 116
    Gold Member

    Re: INTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

    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.
     
  11. Doc Al

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: INTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

    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.
     
  12. malawi_glenn

    malawi_glenn 4,726
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    Re: INTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

    Cool, I could only read pages on Amazon which were abscent of formulas :-)
    OR wait, I was looking at the wrong book
     
  13. Doc Al

    Staff: Mentor

  14. malawi_glenn

    malawi_glenn 4,726
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  15. Re: INTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

    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.
     
  16. malawi_glenn

    malawi_glenn 4,726
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    Re: INTRODUCTORY BOOKS TO "relativity"

    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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