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Tensors, metrics, differential geometry, and all that

  1. Jul 25, 2011 #1
    I'm looking to learn general relativity, but I'm having a hard time. Frankly, I can't find any text books that I can understand.

    There seems to be a gap between the maths I did at uni, and the maths of general relativity.

    I've done vector calculus, differential equations, linear algebra and complex analysis etc, but I just can't seem to find any resources to bridge the gap.

    While at uni, I mostly used the k.a. stroud engineering mathematics books.

    Do I need to re-visit some of this from a more rigorous angle? I'm getting quite frustrated, as I no-longer have a tutor or class mates to discuss things with.

    I'm starting a course in general relativity in February, and really want to get a head start.

    I'd like to know what maths I need to learn to fill in the gaps in my knowledge, and in what order I should learn them.

    Advice/book recommendations would be great.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2011 #2
    My favorite GR introductory books are Wolfgang Rindler's "Relativity: Special, General and Comological" and Ray de'Inverno's "Introducing Einstein's Relativity". Ray de'Inverno's book provides you lots of exercises on tensor calculus. Most of his exercises are straightforward, easy-to-do, but can help you to build up skills. Bernard Schutz's "A First Course in General Relativity" is also nice: many undergraduate GR books shun to discuss "differential forms" , but Bernard Schutz does not omit this.
  4. Jul 25, 2011 #3

    Luckily, I have access to an academic library; I'll have a look for them.
  5. Jul 26, 2011 #4
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