# Mathematics for GR

1. Oct 31, 2012

### shounakbhatta

Hello,

Can somebody tell me what are the different branches of mathematics required as building block of GR?

2. Oct 31, 2012

### andrien

3. Oct 31, 2012

### shounakbhatta

Yes, that part I know, but anything more specific.

4. Oct 31, 2012

### ShayanJ

The main thing you should know is Riemannian geometry and then tensor calculus

5. Oct 31, 2012

### haushofer

I always recommend Nakahara's topology and geometry book. That pretty much covers everything you need to know for GR and is accessible if you know linear algebra and the usual calculus stuff.

6. Oct 31, 2012

### bcrowell

Staff Emeritus
You can learn GR at many different mathematical levels. The following books use little or no math:

Geroch, "General Relativity from A to B"
Gardner, "Relativity Simply Explained"
Einstein, "Relativity: The Special and General Theory ," http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/EinRela.html [Broken]

These books use nothing beyond freshman calculus:

Taylor and Wheeler, "Exploring Black Holes: Introduction to General Relativity"
Hartle, "Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity"

So to answer your question, we'd really need to know something about your goals. At what level do you want to understand GR? If your goal is to dive into a graduate text, then we could discuss that.

Also, what is your background in physics? This is much more likely to lead to problems than a lack of mathematical background.

Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
7. Nov 1, 2012

### shounakbhatta

Hello Ben,

The books you have mentioned are wonderful. I would like to go for Hartley. However, can you please advise me whether I should go for the following book on Linear Algebra by Gilbert Strang. Please remember, I am a self learner, so too much advanced or less illustrative boo would be difficult for me. Please find below the link:

http://www.cambridgeindia.org/showbookdetails.asp?ISBN=9788175968110 [Broken]

-- Shounak

Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
8. Nov 1, 2012

### bcrowell

Staff Emeritus
I think it might be helpful to know a small amount of basic linear algebra before you try Hartle.

9. Nov 1, 2012