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Introduction to the Theory of Relativity (Dover Books on Physics)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2001
Don't know of a superior first exposure to relativity. It starts with elementary situations and examines the conflicts with pre-relativistic kinematical viewpoints. This motivates the requirements for special relativities' postulates and their immediate consequences.
From here, the more complex issues of special relativity are dealt with in an orderly fashion; e.g. rigid body dynamics, relativistic hydrodynamics and electromagnetic theory from a relatavistic point of view.
General tensor analysis is covered in a separate chapter for pursuing the general relativity chapters of the book. Incidentally, this chapter is among the most clear expositions on tensors out there.
Finally, general relativity is covered in the same stepwise fashion as was done in the special relativity chapters. The natural introduction of more complex ideas which start from basics is perhaps, the single reason why this book is a hard to beat introduction to relativity.
After a thorough digestion of Bergmann, one is ready to spring up to the next level, the masterful Weinberg.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 1999
This book describes the foundations of relativity in a clear and concise way. The development of tensor analysis is especially clear. It is great for anyone who has studied calculus, differential equations, and classical physics. I highly recommend it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 1999
Hey, it's endorsed by big Al, himself. The math intro pretty much does it all, but it would be good if you have a firm grasp of vector calculus, and linear algebra. And intro undergraduate physics wouldn't hurt, either.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2000
Peter was able to give examples which made the complex easier to understand. The edges of the first sections in a copy in the Caltech library were black from use. I was privileged to be a guinea pig for the first edition.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2013
good and comprehensive. could have more expanded attention to writing for less mathematically 'skilled' audience. ray smith. liked the book.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2013
I thought it was ok but by far not as great as I had be led (by a friend) to believe. Of course, it's rather old.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2010
Although meant to be an introduction to Relativity, this book is hard to read right from the start. The formalism used throughout the entire book makes it hard for you to gain the courage to try to master Relativity in a technical depth.

It lacks a light introduction to the basic concepts of Relativity (without math), to use as the foundation from which to build the rest of the book. Not the best way for someone to start on Relativity...
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