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Relativity Modern books on Special Relativity

  1. Mar 4, 2016 #1
    I'm looking for a rigorous book on SR for some summer reading. Preferably something that covers a lot of the stuff in this document really well,

    http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-033-relativity-fall-2006/readings/guide.pdf

    The website recommends older books by French and Resnick, but I've been told they aren't modern enough. Really, I'm looking for books at their level of difficulty and rigor but with recent theory involved.

    For my background, I am familiar with the mathematics of Linear Algebra, Vector Calculus, and Ordinary Differential Equations. I also am familiar with a few of the solutions to Maxwell's Equations and have some SR experience already with Taylor/Wheeler Spacetime Physics. Thanks ahead of time for any assistance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2016 #2

    vanhees71

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    Well, special relativity was fully understood in 1908 by Minkowski. There is some inertia in the physics community to absorb modern math, but more than 100 years are enough. Just take any textbook containing a chapter on SRT. Make sure that it doesn't use the ##\mathrm{i} c t## formalism (then it's really old-fashioned) and avoid at any cost books that don't introduce the manifestly covariant Minkowski-space description. Also books mentioning something like a "relativistic" mass are likely to be outdated (I know one exception of a German physics book, where an author insists on using this old-fashioned concept despite very clear criticism in book reviews, but it's still an excellent book on SRT and GRT).

    A very good introduction is Landau&Lifshitz vol. 2.
     
  4. Mar 5, 2016 #3

    QuantumQuest

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    vanhees71 covered pretty much everything. I also found Sean Carroll's book Spacetime and Geometry - An Introduction to General Relativity https://www.amazon.com/Spacetime-Geometry-Introduction-General-Relativity/dp/0805387323 great, in case you want to go further into studying General Relativity as well - pretty much the case usually. Another book I found interesting is Wolfgang Rindler's Introduction to Special Relativity https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Special-Relativity-Science-Publications/dp/0198539525.
     
  5. Mar 7, 2016 #4

    robphy

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