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One-Stop Book on Relativity

  1. Feb 7, 2017 #1

    Andy_K

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    Dear All,

    I am trying to find some good books that provide a comprehensive one-stop education for special and general relativity, with concise coverage of key fundamentals of the maths involved.

    It is intended for self study, and I do not have strong fundamentals on advanced physics / maths.

    The book I currently read is this:
    http://amzn.to/2kQGFUb [Broken]

    51uNurK2LAL._SX404_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    It is pretty good as it covers some mathematical concepts from the grounds up, though I would like more cross references as I sometimes get stuck at certain equations, especially during the latter parts of the book pertaining to curvature and geodesics.

    What books would you recommend that are similar in nature?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2017 #2

    PeterDonis

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    2016 Award

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    I would try Sean Carroll's online lecture notes:

    https://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/9712019

    The title says they're on GR, but they cover SR as well, in the sense that they cover the case of flat spacetime.
     
  4. Feb 7, 2017 #3

    Andy_K

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    Thanks for your prompt advice, Peter.

    I found this book by Sean Carroll:
    http://amzn.to/2llRyu8 [Broken]

    41aqX17yLmL._SX409_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    Is this a good book for the above purpose?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  5. Feb 7, 2017 #4

    jedishrfu

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  6. Feb 7, 2017 #5

    Nugatory

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    Taylor and Wheeler's "Spacetime Physics" is good.
     
  7. Feb 7, 2017 #6

    PeterDonis

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    This is basically an expanded book version of the lecture notes I linked to.
     
  8. Feb 7, 2017 #7

    Andy_K

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    Thank you for your great references, I will try to get a good grasp on these books — literally and figuratively! :)

     
  9. Feb 8, 2017 #8
    Try Hartle. Great Book and easier read than Carroll. Carroll would be a great second book.
     
  10. Feb 9, 2017 #9

    Andy_K

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    Thank you, I will seek out the book!
     
  11. Feb 9, 2017 #10

    robphy

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  12. Feb 9, 2017 #11

    Andy_K

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    Thank you, this book is extremely helpful with the workbook approach and accompanying resources! Especially for people like me trying to self-study with no formal education. :)
     
  13. Feb 10, 2017 #12
    It's a good book but unfortunately no solution manual included :( Including the solution manual would make it a great book.

    The reason I like hartle over this book is you get to the 'fun' part of GR very quickly and that makes reading interesting. I love the physics first approach that Hartle takes but includes all the necessary math as well. At the end of the day, we all are different and like different things. The OP has to try a few books before he/she finds one that is going to work for him/her.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  14. Feb 10, 2017 #13

    robphy

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    Does Hartle's or Carroll's have a solution manual included?

    Moore does have a Student Manual with some hints and solutions.
    In addition, he says
    "Also, please note that almost all of the exercises and many of the homework problems in the textbook already provide answers that will give you at least some feedback: this manual only supplements the information already provided in the book. Getting the right answer using incorrect methods is generally more difficult with this material than it would be in an introductory course, so if you arrive at the right result, chances are pretty good that you are doing things correctly. At the same time, I strongly recommend that you refer to this manual only after you have tried to work out the problem on your own."
     
  15. Feb 10, 2017 #14
    No. But then Hartle or Carroll are not workbooks. Moore's is a workbook without a solution manual - for me it kinda made the point moot. I actually started with Moore but very quickly got bored as I did not know whether what I am doing is right or wrong. Then I tried Schutz - well for me, it was even more boring. When I read Hartle, since the book is pedagogically excellent and does not skip steps, at least i was following him well enough to keep me interested. Carroll is a great read after Hartle. At the end of the day, It just may be a matter of personal preference as I said.
     
  16. Feb 10, 2017 #15
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  17. Feb 10, 2017 #16
  18. Feb 10, 2017 #17

    Andy_K

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    Thank you, your references are very helpful indeed. I'll try to get or preview as many of these books as I can, to see which approach is more conducive for my self study.

    I checked out the Hartle book on Amazon, there seems to be many versions, most of which are priced at $100+, but I found one version at $15:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/9332535086/

    Is this a valid / genuine version? This is the only one I can afford.. Though it appears they don't post to my country (Malaysia). :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  19. Feb 11, 2017 #18
    That is a legitimate international edition. The only problem with that edition is the book sometimes refer to page numbers that don't match the actual pages as the [page numbers have been changed (I know because that is the version that I have) but it is not something that can't be worked round. Also it is a softcover printed in cheaper paper as opposed to the US version and the print quality is not great. You could also look at a used version https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-lis...?ie=UTF8&condition=used&qid=1486833430&sr=1-1 or look at abebooks.com for cheaper hardcover copies.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  20. Feb 11, 2017 #19

    Andy_K

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    Thank you for the clarification and info, I found these 2 lowest priced options at Abebooks. I'm listing them here for the benefit of other readers:

    $19 & $4+ postage to Malaysia ($23.80)
    https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=17320627686

    $15 & $9+ postage to Malaysia ($24.81)
    https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=20145813025
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  21. Feb 12, 2017 #20

    Andy_K

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    Btw, do you know if there are any changes in content from the 2014 edition compared to the original 2003 one, besides the print quality? I can't find any proper description on the product listing for the 2014 International Edition that explain the differences, if any.

    The closest thing I could come up with is the Errata on Hartle's website, which I believe may have been applied to 2014 edition:
    http://web.physics.ucsb.edu/~gravitybook/
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
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