Second book on special relativity

In summary: That's a good goal. However, it's not easy to find a comprehensive text that does this. There are a few books that come close, but they are mostly too specialized.In summary, the best books for a second exposure to Special Relativity are either French-based or more advanced texts that focus on the geometric nature of the theory and a formal treatment of vectors and tensors.
  • #1

Frabjous

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What are the best books for a second exposure to Special Relativity? I can find plenty of threads on introductory books …
 
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  • #2
What kind of problems would you expect this book to teach you to solve?
 
  • #3
Mostly the same ones, but at a higher level of understanding.
 
  • #4
caz said:
Mostly the same ones, but at a higher level of understanding.
My guess is that most second treatments of SR lead on to GR, with a focus on the geometric nature of the theory and a formal treatment of vectors and tensors. I like Sean Carroll's book (Spacetime Geometry) and this series of lectures from Professor Hughes at MIT:



Sean Carroll's notes are here:

https://arxiv.org/pdf/gr-qc/9712019.pdf
 
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  • #5
PeroK said:
My guess is that most second treatments of SR lead on to GR, with a focus on the geometric nature of the theory and a formal treatment of vectors and tensors.
Making the jump to GR is an option. There are several threads on where to start with GR, so I would like to keep this thread focused on advanced SR refs unless the answer is GR.
 
  • #6
caz said:
Making the jump to GR is an option. There are several threads on where to start with GR, so I would like to keep this thread focused on advanced SR unless the only answer is GR.
There's always:

https://itp.uni-frankfurt.de/~hees/pf-faq/srt.pdf
 
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  • #7
caz said:
Mostly the same ones, but at a higher level of understanding.
That's pretty vague. It will be difficult to find a book to teach you something if you don't know exact;y what.

The flip answer is "find a college that teaches Special Relativity II and use their textbook". Howeverm you will find that there are few, if any, colleges that teach two terms of SR. Which gets us back to the question I asked.
 
  • #8
Vanadium 50 said:
That's pretty vague. It will be difficult to find a book to teach you something if you don't know exact;y what.

The flip answer is "find a college that teaches Special Relativity II and use their textbook". Howeverm you will find that there are few, if any, colleges that teach two terms of SR. Which gets us back to the question I asked.
I already have a physics degree and I’m doing this for fun. I used French in school and have recently refreshed with Taylor and Wheeler. Looking at the most popular references, it seems like an underclassman could handle them. It made me wonder if there was something more advanced that wasn’t GR.

This isn‘t an effort to avoid GR. I’ve read Schutz and Carroll is on my to do list.
 
  • #9
Look at a monograph "Special relativity in general frames" by Éric Gourgoulhon. It is a 800pgs gem, however I am afraid it's not a second, but at least the 4th text on SR.
 
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  • #10
caz said:
What are the best books for a second exposure to Special Relativity? I can find plenty of threads on introductory books …

Frimus said:
Look at a monograph "Special relativity in general frames" by Éric Gourgoulhon. It is a 800pgs gem, however I am afraid it's not a second, but at least the 4th text on SR.

This is a fantastic book, but I rarely recommend it to physics students or physicists. I only recommend this to people whom I know I are interested in the use of abstract math in theoretical physics.

Other options include "Special Relativity" by Wolfgang Rindler and "Special Relativity An Introduction with 200 Problems and Solutions" by Michael Tsamparlis.
 
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  • #12
I’ve seen a couple of interesting comments on Dixon’s book. Any thoughts on it?
 
  • #13
References to the Dixon comments?
Is it the Dixon book that discusses the foundations (along a certain approach) of Newtonian and Minkowskian physics in a similar way?
 
  • #14
I do not know how to quote old threads.

You wrote “Dixon's book is probably too specialized for his list... but, I agree, it is interesting. I've been browsing through it [mainly on the Newtonian limit] on and off for the past year“ in 2007 in response to “Dixon's "Special Relativity" is far more advanced and interesting than its title makes it sound (if that's what you want)” by Stingray who lists it elsewhere as his favorite SR book.

It is also one of Schutz’s additional reading SR references.
 
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  • #15
caz said:
I do not know how to quote old threads.

You wrote “Dixon's book is probably too specialized for his list... but, I agree, it is interesting. I've been browsing through it [mainly on the Newtonian limit] on and off for the past year“ in 2007 in response to “Dixon's "Special Relativity" is far more advanced and interesting than its title makes it sound (if that's what you want)” by Stingray who lists it elsewhere as his favorite SR book.

It is also one of Schutz’s additional reading SR references.
After a little digging, I think the reference is
https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...f-physics-and-math-texts.186748/#post-1442746

I haven’t looked in a while, but
I’ve been interested in works like this
because I am trying to find a more unified way to formulate physics so that it leads to usual Galilean physics in one case (infinite maximum signal speed) and Lorentz-invariant physics in the finite maximum signal speed case. (This is different from “small velocity limits”.)

Dixon would be good if you are interested in foundational structure…
but it’s not immediately applicable as other “next levels above introduction”
(which may deal with (say)
relativistic electromagnetism, more complicated situations (like Thomas precession or non-inertial kinematics), measurements by non-inertial frames, classical field theories, tensorial methods and their relationship to other methods (like 3-vectors), geometric interpretations, …
 
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  • #16
Another book at this level, I simply love, is

R. U. Sexl and H. K. Urbantke, Relativity, Groups, Particles, Springer, Wien (2001).
 
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