Resources to start understanding relativity

  • #1
mark2142
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Hi everyone, I want to learn relativity but right now I don't know where to start. I have been doing Newtonian mechanics for quite some time from resnik and Irodov and want to go further. Which book should I now read?
 

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  • #2
PeroK
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Hi everyone, I want to learn relativity but right now I don't know where to start. I have been doing Newtonian mechanics for quite some time from resnik and Irodov and want to go further. Which book should I now read?
Get a book on Special Relativity first. That's an important prerequisite.

Other prerequisites are more advanced mathematical experience and classical electromagnetism.

Without those you are likely to make little progress with GR.
 
  • #3
mark2142
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Get a book on Special Relativity first. That's an important prerequisite.

Other prerequisites are more advanced mathematical experience and classical electromagnetism.

Without those you are likely to make little progress with GR.
So I don't need to learn Lagrangian mechanics and Hamiltonian mechanics and all that undergraduate mechanics from Kleppner, Marion Thornton, Taylor, Goldstein books etc? Pardon me if I dont make sense to you. I dont know the map and path in all physics.
 
  • #4
vanhees71
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I think Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics is an important prerequisite to study SR as well as GR. For me the best book to start learning both is Landau&Lifshitz vol. II. It goes without much ado straight forward to the subject and with an emphasis on the physics.
 
  • #5
PeroK
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So I don't need to learn Lagrangian mechanics and Hamiltonian mechanics and all that undergraduate mechanics from Kleppner, Marion Thornton, Taylor, Goldstein books etc? Pardon me if I dont make sense to you. I dont know the map and path in all physics.
That was included in the more advanced mathematical experience.
 
  • #6
mark2142
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That was included in the more advanced mathematical experience.
Can you tell which books should I get first?
 
  • #8
PeroK
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Can you tell which books should I get first?
There are lots of options. Griffiths for EM?

Hartle is the simplest GR book and avoids as much of the heavy mathematics as possible. That said, it's still advanced undergraduate level.

Carroll's GR book is good.

The risk is that you flounder if you jump into GR too soon.
 
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  • #9
mark2142
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There are lots of options. Griffiths for EM?
I have griffths Introduction to Electrodynamics but I don't have introductory knowledge that is taught after high school like Coulomb’s Law , Electric Fields , Gauss’ Law , Electric Potential , Capacitance , Current and Resistance Circuits , Magnetic Fields , Magnetic Fields Due to Currents. Should I do that first?
 
  • #10
vanhees71
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But that's all contained in Griffiths's book!
 
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  • #11
mark2142
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But that's all contained in Griffiths's book!
Oh great. What about its maths? Should I get another book to learn its maths?
 
  • #12
PeroK
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I have griffths Introduction to Electrodynamics but I don't have introductory knowledge that is taught after high school like Coulomb’s Law , Electric Fields , Gauss’ Law , Electric Potential , Capacitance , Current and Resistance Circuits , Magnetic Fields , Magnetic Fields Due to Currents. Should I do that first?
That's a different question. There are several threads on here about EM books prior to Griffiths.
 
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  • #13
Vanadium 50
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I looked at a few of your threads, and think you will progress faster if you get a more solid foundation in Newtonian mechanics before moving on.
 
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  • #14
mark2142
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I looked at a few of your threads, and think you will progress faster if you get a more solid foundation in Newtonian mechanics before moving on.
Its just that I got bored with resnik and thought maybe try some electromagnetism. Although electromagnetism is given in resnik but I dont want to read about capacitors and transistors. I want to study something else and come back later to resnik. Resnik is very simple and I get nothing than just solving some simple problems which I actually have trouble with solving. I am not leaving anything but just want to refresh. And it will be good for my understanding GR.
There are several threads on here about EM books prior to Griffiths.
I have Vector analysis by schuam's. Maybe that and griffths will work. I read online you need to understand vector calculus for this book.
 
  • #15
PeroK
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I have Vector analysis by schuam's. Maybe that and griffths will work. I read online you need to understand vector calculus for this book.
The first 60+ pages of Griffiths are vector calculus!
 
  • #16
Frabjous
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Its just that I got bored with resnik and thought maybe try some electromagnetism. Although electromagnetism is given in resnik but I dont want to read about capacitors and transistors. I want to study something else and come back later to resnik. Resnik is very simple and I get nothing than just solving some simple problems which I actually have trouble with solving. I am not leaving anything but just want to refresh. And it will be good for my understanding GR.
You need to reflect on what you are trying to do. You have issues with freshman physics, but want a multiple component path to senior level physics?

Taking your desire for a “refresh” at face value, I still suggest special relativity (post 7).
After that, you could try their black hole book. You might also look at Gravity by Schutz or General Relativity from A to B by Geroch.
 
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  • #17
mark2142
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Thank You for helping. I will get one of those.
What about the book Theoretical minimum by Susskind (classical machanics) ?
 
  • #19
Frabjous
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Thank You for helping. I will get one of those.
What about the book Theoretical minimum by Susskind (classical machanics) ?
Susskind’s Theoretical Minimum books (and the videos they are based on) are designed for non-physicists who want a serious introduction. They are not sufficient for learning the material at the level of a physicist. That being said, I like them and have gained insight from them.
 
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  • #20
Frabjous
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Looks a bit hard! Can you describe this book in short so that I can know what I am going into?
It doesn‘t assume math above calculus, so you should be able to handle it. If you do not like the book, there are multiple PF threads discussing textbook options for special relativity.
 
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  • #21
mark2142
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Susskind’s Theoretical Minimum books (and the videos they are based on) are designed for non-physicists who want a serious introduction. They are not sufficient for learning the material at the level of a physicist. That being said, I like them and have gained insight from them.
Its good to have some insight rather than be in awe where you are going. I will read it.
It doesn‘t assume math above calculus, so you should be able to handle it. If you do not like the book, there are multiple PF threads discussing textbook options for special relativity.
Thanks.
I think in order to avoid getting overwhelmed I should just change how I do my problems by randomly jumping into problems from random chapters.
 
  • #22
Frabjous
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I do my problems by randomly jumping into problems from random chapters.
That is not an approach I would recommend.
 

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