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Einstein's Theory: A Rigorous Introduction for the Mathematically Untrained Hardcover – August 30, 2011

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1461407058 ISBN-10: 1461407052 Edition: 2011th

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Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews:

“Einstein’s Theory fits in an unusual place for introductory books on the topic. … this work reaches the mathematical, theoretical, and conceptual understanding of a graduate course, assuming just basic algebraic skills. … this is a rare book that can take the motivated reader with an elementary algebra background to a rigorous understanding of general relativity. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and general readers.” (E. Kincanon, Choice, Vol. 49 (9), May, 2012)

“This book stands apart from other introductory textbooks on general relativity in that it is aimed at non-science educated readers who nonetheless want to get a thorough understanding of this theory. … The book succeeds quite well in explaining the concepts underlying general relativity in elementary terms without sacrificing mathematical rigor. An additional bonus are the philosophical remarks obviously due to one of the authors being a philosopher himself.” (Helmut Rumpf, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1234, 2012)

From the Back Cover

This book provides an introduction to the theory of relativity and the mathematics used in its processes. Three elements of the book make it stand apart from previously published books on the theory of relativity.

First, the book starts at a lower mathematical level than standard books with tensor calculus of sufficient maturity to make it possible to give detailed calculations of relativistic predictions of practical experiments. Self-contained introductions are given, for example vector calculus, differential calculus and integrations. Second, in-between calculations have been included, making it possible for the non-technical reader to follow step-by-step calculations. Thirdly, the conceptual development is gradual and rigorous in order to provide the inexperienced reader with a philosophically satisfying understanding of the theory. 

Einstein's Theory: A Rigorous Introduction for the Mathematically Untrained aims to provide the reader with a sound conceptual understanding of both the special and general theories of relativity, and gain an insight into how the mathematics of the theory can be utilized to calculate relativistic effects.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2011 edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461407052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461407058
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Joey ooi on January 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is simply the clearest and gentlest introduction to the subject of relativity.
This is NOT a popular reading, it does get into the math but the introduction and pace is what sets this text apart.
The authors starts from baby steps and builds up the theory. The pace is easy and explanation are clear and the mathematical details are not left to the reader to figure out like in most text books.The physics is also explained very clearly
From an electronics engineering background and not having dealt with tensors before, this text help me bridge the gap and allows me to fully appreciate the machinery underlying this wonderful theory.I have tried reading Schultz,Lawden etc to understand the subject on my own but this text is a much better intro to the subject.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on December 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. I am about 1/2 way thru it and the presentation of the necessary math to understand relativity is the best I have ever seen. However, the title "...for the Mathematically Untrained.." is misleading. I think the "mathematically untrained" will find the book rough going; however, for those with a background in college level math, i.e. calculus and vectors in particular will find the book gives a refreshing presentation of these subjects. The careful analysis of a derivative and basis vectors is the best I have ever seen. The geometric approach for derivations such as Christhoffel symbols makes this concept much clearer than an algebraic approach (which by the way, is also shown). I have a BS in physics and a MS in EE and I always felt that school rushed one thru courses with emphasis on problem solving rather than understanding basic principles was probably not a good approach for understanding. I just wish that I had this book early in my academic career.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jim Curry on February 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a book of absolutely stunning importance and fantastic quality. Anyone could use it, really, but there is a "best group" of potential users. People who have taken the second course of calculus, the calculus of several variables, will already have made their way through the "heavy lifting" of some preliminary chapters---although that material is also contained here and is correct. So, in theory, a high school student could use this book and learn right up to general relativity in one fell swoop. It could be done, but it would take a lot of effort. I think that almost every young scientist, at more or less the early college stage, would deserve the privilege of reading this most valuable book. It will explain Einstein's theory correctly right up to the true general relativity. It will do it with full mathematical correctness (leaving out some niceties that can be left out), and it will do it in a fully understandable way. So, it is a "best book." For people who would like to understand Special Relativity only, and who would like to muddle through less mathematics, Mermin's book "It's About Time" is really by far the very best, and it uses less mathematics, but only gives you the special theory. For those who are fully confident in mathematics, Woodhouse's two volumes on Special and General Relativity seem to be just the "right" place to start, but it requires that you be in full mathematical fettle to do it. Gron stops and carefully helps you fill that all in, and in a very gentle way. I think everyone will want to read it, even those who don't have to. It's just that wonderful. For those who go beyond this level, Gron has two more books which are worth reading. Woodhouse is a good next step.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vazhaspa Spitman on February 28, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"One day," writes Oyvind Gron, "the seventy three year old philosopher Arne Naes appeared at my graduate course on general relativity. He immediately decided that a new type of introduction to the general theory of relativity is needed: an introduction designed to meet the requirements of non-science educated people wanting to get a thorough understanding of this, most remarkable, theory."

Imagine you are deeply curious about concepts of Einstein' theory beyond just misleading popularized qualitative descriptions or strict quantitative textbooks, imagine you are an educated person who has forgotten some basic high school maths but likes to master the field of relativity as excellent as a graduate student, imagine you are a thinker, philosopher or a theoretician who likes to compare her/his concepts of space and time versus that of Einstein in General Relativity ... in all these cases, this book is for you if and only if you are a patient reader.

The book is unique in its genre: not only it starts with low level maths to arrive at the core of one of the most sophisticated theories of the last century, but it is the fruit of corporation between an interested philosopher (Arne Naes) and a professor of physics (Oyvind Gron). It is therefore neither a vulgarized version of the theory, even when it goes into the qualitative discussions, nor a strict textbook jumping between mathematical formulas and mistaking the mathematical formalism with the reality.In other words, although the books deal with mathematics of GR (the general relativity) the authors are aware that beyond the equations are hidden wonders and curious concepts rooted in Einstein's inventive imagination.
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