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Introducing Einstein's Relativity Paperback – June 18, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0198596868 ISBN-10: 0198596863 Edition: 1St Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1St Edition edition (June 18, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198596863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198596868
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 1 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

`Ray d'Inverno's Introducing Einstein's Relativity seems to have done a wonderful job of taming what many undergraduates consider a ferocious course. The book has a large, reader-friendly format, with a lot of illustrations. Important equations are highlighted in boxes and the reader does not have to wade through an undifferentiated mass of tensor calculus.' New Scientist

'The visually stunning dust jacket cloaks exceptionally well-presented text and figures, making reading irresistible. This is a fine book which I have added to the recommended bibliography for my courses; colleagues at other universities are advised not to overlook it.' Times Higher Education Supplement

'This book is designed to explain the theory in terms which many students will find easier to digest.' Aslib Book Guide, Vol. 58, No. 1, January 1993

'a highly accessible undergraduate text book packaged in a reader-friendly style ... a comprehensive and accessible book' Felicity Mellor, The Observatory, Vol. 113, No. 1114

'a very readable and well illustrated treatment of general relativity, gravitational waves, black holes and cosmology' Australian and New Zealand Physicist, Volume 30, Number 3, March 1993

'The great experience of teaching Relativity is reflected by an excellent presentation of the material in the book ... It is a highly recommended introduction to the mathematical foundations as well as physical ideas underlying Einstein's Relativity. The text is concise and clear but nevertheless of a high level. The author has succeeded in writing a beautiful self-contained text ... very useful for students and graduates who want to become familiar with Einstein's theory of Relativity ... it can be unreservedly recommended as a good tool for preparing examinations in relativity. In all respects it is a pleasure to read this distinguished textbook.' D. Kramer, Class. Quantum Grav. 11 (1994)

'an intuitive and motivating presentation with mathematical precision where the latter is needed ... Extremely helpful are more than 200 figures, illustrating subjects which in many cases are difficult to imagine ... this book is one of the best pedagogical approaches to introduce general relativity and to present a connection to more advanced topics in this field. Hence it is highly recommendable for every student or teacher interested in this subject.' Bernd Wegner, Mathematics Abstracts, 774/93

About the Author

Ray d'Inverno is at University of Southampton.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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This is an excellent book from which to learn general relativity.
AstroStatistician
D'Inverno does a very good job explaining the mathematics and leading the reader through what can be though material to grasp.
F. Maddalena
Of several of the books covering relativity theory and general relativity in particular, this book is one of the best.
Raymond Jensen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David McMahon on February 6, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was one of the books assigned when I took general relativity in college. I found several of the chapters very enjoyable to read. D'Inverno does a great job getting into some of the fascinating physics that lies behind general relativity and its development, like Mach's principles and a great discussion of the equivalence principle. Much of the book is devoted to teaching you the mathematics, and it does so in a good fashion. He has two nice chapters on tensors with homework problems that are doable. One drawback was the book didn't have anything on Cartan's equations or discuss one forms (although he talks about contravariant and covariant vectors). The first half of the book is better than the second half, I found his chapters on special relativity excellent but felt his chapters on black holes and gravity waves were a bit lacking. In any case, I recommend it. Try beefing up your education by reading it along with Schutz so you get some exposure to one forms and all that.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
D'Inverno provides a very solid introduction to the general theory of relativity, starting with a short review of the special theory and moving through tensor calculus, the field equations, and some applications. One caution: the approach is entirely coordinate-based, so people wishing to get a full picture of general relativity may wish to supplement it with a more modern treatment, such as Wald or Hawking and Ellis.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Janosch Lenzi on October 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is without any doubt the best book one can use for starting with GR: it is self contained, well written and moreover it is full of Physical insight. In brief: a great book. Even the introductory mathematical part (about tensor calculus) is great written: not too short and not too long. If one would like to gain an additional point of view about tensor calculus I'd recommend to compare the way followed by R. d'Inverno with that followed by Richtmyer "Principles of advanced mathematical Physics" vol 2 (the last all done in geodesic coordinates: this is a book on maths and not about GR!!). The level of Ray d'Inverno is at advanced undergraduate/1st year graduate: in fact one can find a lot of well discussed topics that are generally left out in other books on the subject. Of course this is not an advanced text like R. Wald or Hawking-Ellis, which are the right books if one wants to get a deeper insight in particular topics. The only fundamental thing R. d'Inverno lacks to treat in a fully way is the form of the Energy of the Gravitational field in GR and its related problems: no specific discussion about it. I think this is an important topic. A valuable (and probably the best) discussion about the latter can be found in L.D.Landau "Field Theory" book, or even in Sean Carroll "Spacetime and Geometry" book (a very good one, my favourite together with Landau and Ray d'Inverno), or you can also have a look about it into P. Dirac or Weinberg.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Jensen on January 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
Of several of the books covering relativity theory and general
relativity in particular, this book is one of the best. I
consult it frequently. Benefits from buying this book: There are
numerous illustrations, the concepts are explained well, and
the organization of the material is good. Disadvantages: there
are no worked examples. I hope that one day that Schaums comes
out with a general relativity text in its "Outline Series" be-
cause worked examples are scarce in just about every general
relativity text. Since there is a Schaums outline on Tensor
calculus, I would recommend working on at least the first 8
chapters of that book before buying D'Invernos text. Tensor
calculus is a key to understanding general relativity, and there
is no better way to learn the subject than from David Kays
Schaum Outline on tensor calculus.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Justin Moorhead on September 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
D'Inverno presents all the prerequisite maths needed for GR perfectly. The book is presented perfectly and at the appropriate introductory level for someone who has already done special relativity and wants to jump into GR but doesnt know what a tensor is. There definitly is no better introduction to GR in existence. The exercises at the end of each chapter are brilliant as well. Usually I dont do exercises as they take too long but D'Invernos exercises are a must do. You learn soo much from them and they are more easy than hard. Most books at this level give exercises which are too hard or not that important to understanding the next few chapters. But D'Invernos exercises are perfect especially the ones on the chapters about the maths needed for GR.

After introducing GR he does stuff on black holes, worm holes, gravitational waves and cosmology.

The only problems with the book are that in the first section of the book he does an introduction to special relativity for those who have never seen it before. It is a very bad intro to special relativity. For the best intro to special rel. one needs to consult "University Physics" by "Young and Fredman".

But for those who have already done SR, d'invernos intro to SR is new and interesting as a method if a bit too difficult and mathematical.

Also I would be a bit critical of the fact that after explaining the geometrical structure of GR perfectly he does not even mention how this view of gravity as a force is not exactly "combinable" with the particle physics view of gravity as a force communicated by a graviton. Just a small thought which I think is important. (Weinberg introduces GR by another method which does not use the mathematical geometrical structure throughout as he considers it "overemphasized" and a bit "misleading")

Wienbergs "General relativity and cosmology" should be the readers next port of call after D'inverno
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