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What kind of math is needed to understand relativity

  1. Jun 6, 2008 #1
    Do I need to know calculus? Or do I need to know differential equations? Do both of the theories even use the same mathematics? I really want to know more about relativity, and learning about the math behind it would be helpful.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2008 #2


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    Much of special relativity requires only algebra. Matrices would help.
    General relativity requires everything, which is why Einstein needed math helpers.
  4. Jun 6, 2008 #3


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    For general relativity you need calculus and differential geometry.
  5. Jun 6, 2008 #4
    Not technically math, but classical mechanics at the level of variational principle would be helpful.
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