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Understanding relativity mathematically

  1. Dec 12, 2014 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I was wondering if someone could offer an opinion on this.....I have a high school math background sans calculus, but would love to understand Einstein's theories mathematically. Richard Feynman said that to truly appreciate nature you have to speak the language of math. What would be the requirements and in what order for someone like me (studying math/physics) to achieve my goal? I don't care much about time and would be pursuing this on the side but seriously. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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  3. Dec 12, 2014 #2

    Doug Huffman

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  4. Dec 12, 2014 #3


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    Bondi's k-calculus approach to special relativity requires only high school math. (No calculus, in spite of the name). See for instance "Relativity and Common Sense", which you can find online, for example in the internet archive. I think Mermin has a more modern book with a similar approach, but I haven't read it.

    The mathematical requirement to understand special relativity is to be able to do high school algebra , more specifically linear equations in two variables.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  5. Dec 12, 2014 #4


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    Linear algebra and calculus (real, multivariable) are always the minimum knowledge of maths before tackling university level physics.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  6. Dec 12, 2014 #5


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  7. Dec 13, 2014 #6
    Thank you for all your suggestions everyone. Now to dig into all of those!
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