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Where do i start for relativity?

  1. Feb 19, 2010 #1
    I would like to learn a lot about Einsteins theory of relativity, 4th dimensions (and higher), Time dilation, and such other concepts just out of interest. However, i do not know where to start. I know that Wiki is a good place, but its not what i need. I need kind of an in-depth study. So where do i start? Which books do i read?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2010 #2


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    What is your math and physics background?
  4. Feb 20, 2010 #3
    Hi ashish,
    check out this link may be useful for you,
    Einstein's relativity,n Field equation is a good start.
    Better watching videos about relativity in youtube n other
    For the good books go to thefollowing link
    http://freebookspot.in/Category-Astronomy and Cosmology
    this is a good site.

    All the Best,
  5. Feb 21, 2010 #4
    It's pretty mediocre. I've read bits of relativity. Maths is good but nothing advanced. Have done small amounts of calculus, fourier transforms, laplace, etc . Though i don't know where to apply all that! :frown:
  6. Feb 21, 2010 #5
    E-Relativity is bases on Riemanian Geometry, mean cure space.
    Dirac has written a book On E-Relativity, better read that, but before u should know about special relativity.....
    H. Weyl has written also a nice book.
    Space-Time and Matter.
  7. Feb 21, 2010 #6
    what are you studying now? which class 10 or 10+2, indian 10+2 in much enough for studying all these stuff, indian mathematics is much more advance than any other.
  8. Feb 21, 2010 #7
    second yr engineering.. I just want to do this stuff out of interest.
  9. Feb 21, 2010 #8
    Yeah i understood, no probs then you can take over the subject ,just with some more concentration and Zeal.
  10. Feb 22, 2010 #9


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    I assume you are primarily interested in special relativity (SR), with some follow-on interest in general relativity (GR). A search on Amazon brings up many reasonably priced intro books with titles like "Relativity Theory Simply Explained" (no math) and "Relativity Demystified" (GR with some math). If you have a university library nearby, browse the shelves and see what appeals to you with your level of math and physics background.

    Here's a starter book that you can get used for very little: Nobel prize winner Max Born's "Einstein's Theory of Relativity" (2nd edition, Dover). Born spends most of the book on classical physics for a lay audience, within a historical context. You can skip that part and read the chapter on electrodynamics (or at least the last half of the chapter including the part on the Michelson-Morley experiment). The next chapter is a respectable introduction to special relativity complete with the usual weird behaviors and thought experiments, followed by a descriptive chapter on concepts in general relativity. There is math (you'll see Maxwell's equations, for instance) but it's on the light side, and the writing is clear. This will prepare you for a more rigorous and advanced treatment in the next level of book, of which there are many to choose from.
  11. Mar 10, 2010 #10
    Having myself wasted a lot of time trying to understand Relativity only to not get it, I sincerely advise you to gain the basic knowledge of undergraduate physics at the level of this book at the very least.


    I say this because you need to understand where relativity came from. It's only my opinion & experience, I'm sure lots of people learned SR before classical phys, but it didn't work for me & I'd rather get a deep appreciation for it.

    Anyway, here are a few books with a proper treatment of special relativity, if you've got a bit of calc behind you to the level of understanding laplace & fourier I think they should give you no trouble.



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