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General Relativity: An Introduction for Physicists Hardcover – March 27, 2006

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521829519 ISBN-10: 0521829518 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"General Relativity is written clearly... gives a good, readable introduction to the foundations and applications of general relativity theory, and it is a good choice for a general relativity course emphasizing astrophysical and cosmological applications."
Lawrence H. Ford, Tufts University for Physics Today


"Like any good book on general relativity, much is expected of the reader, but the writing is concise and elegant, with plenty of good exercises for the student to work on. The authors strike an excellent balance between the demands of mathematical rigor and physical significance."
Alan S.McRae, Mathematical Reviews

Book Description

This is a clear mathematical introduction to Einstein's theory of general relativity. It presents a wide range of applications of the theory, concentrating on its physical consequences. After reviewing the basic concepts, the authors present an intuitive discussion of the mathematical background, which is then used to develop a physical understanding of a wide range of topics in relativistic gravitation. Written for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this approachable textbook contains over 300 exercises to illuminate and extend the discussion in the text.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (March 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521829518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521829519
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.3 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. fernandez on December 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While looking for a book to teach my undergraduates I was lucky to obtain a copy of this book.I was ready to implement the Nightingale/Foster , but I was disappointed to see the degradation of its second edition. I learned GR with the first edition of N/F!!!.
Well , I checked this excellent book and I was amazed.
In the first chapters the authors expose Vectors tensors and manifold in the easier possible way. Then they revise Special Relativity . Then , they proceed as usual , Curved spaces , Einstein's Field Equation , Scwh-Metric, Schw -Black Holes , Interior solutions, but , then : Kerr solution in great detail!!. Without going into Ehler's equations or Degenerated Algebras , the authors describe very well Kerr's Geometry and Physics ( Penrose's , Celestial Mechanics..etc).
Cosmology ( FLW) solutions ,..Inflation in some extent!!..Linearization and Gravitational Waves (Production and detection) .At the very end there is the Hilbert action etc.

I wish some Kaluza/Klein , which is possible and necessary for the new generation ( to understand completely String Theory you need to taste KK- theory ) and also , I wish a given amount of solution for the large number of problems at the end of every chapter.

I hope to see both of these in future versions of this magnificent introductory book and then I will give the 5-star.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Justice on December 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have this book along with the classic by Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler. Both are good, but I like the explanations in this book better. I think it benefits from being published in 2006. Physicists have learned how to explain General Relativity better. Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler is 3 times thicker and covers more topics, but this is actually a distraction from learning the subject for the first time.

Another advantage of being published in 2006 is that the quality of presentation has improved.

I recommend the book.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Gralla on December 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was the TA for an undergraduate course that used this book. I read the book to reference equations when writing up homework solutions, and in response to students questions about it, but not otherwise. That is, I did not read it cover to cover, but selectively. However, almost invariably when I read a section I would think that something in it was either confusingly presented or simply wrong. I kept a list of my "grievances" as the semester went along, and I am writing them as part of this review. I probably should give the book one star, based on my experience, but since I haven't read very much of it, it's conceivable that other parts are very good. (So, it gets two stars.) Also note that the students uniformly complained about the book.

1. P. 10, treatment of length contraction. The equation for length contraction is "derived" with no discussion of simultaneity. Essentially, the book writes dx = gamma ( dx - v dt ), and sets dt=0 so that dx is "length". This is not a correct derivation without more explanation, because (for example) using the inverse Lorentz transformation would give the opposite answer. None of the words in the book explain why the the Lorentz rather than inverse Lorentz transformation should be used. It's just not possible to give a correct treatment of Lorentz contraction without being careful about the notion of simulteneity. (It also would help to have a spacetime diagram.) You need to say what length means in each frame, and then compare them. This came up because I was giving students very little credit on a homework problem that was essentially "derive length contraction", and it turned out they had copied out of the book.

2. P18,p117, notation for three-velocity.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hank on June 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read parts of many books on general relativity and cosmology and I have to say that when looking for a refresher on a concept, I always turn to this book first. It might be because I first learned much of general relativity from this book, but I think the explanations are clear and the authors don't get bogged down in details. This makes the book a great starting point for new students.

That said, there are a lot of typos in the book. There is one and half pages of corrections in the back of the book, and the notation that is used is sometimes a bit strange (power spectrum, etc.) For me, I am more concerned about the concept and the intuition so these hiccups don't bother me too much.

Bottom line: for those who want to learn GR as fast as possible using only high school calculus read Exploring Black Holes by Taylor and Wheeler. For those who want all the details and multiple perspectives on GR, read Gravitation by misner thorne wheeler. Bridging the gap is this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AAA Travel Money on November 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A well written presentation of a difficult subject. However, this is not for the beginner. You must have a good command of Calculus and analytic geometry in order to understand this material, but the authors do an excellent job of presenting it in a logical and accessible manner.

I particular like the way the authors have broken the material into digestible bits makes this the best presentation of the material have seen - and I have a PH.D in Astronomy.
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