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Practical Relativity: From First Principles to the Theory of Gravity 1st Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0470741412
ISBN-10: 0470741414
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Paperback, November 1, 2010
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Editorial Reviews


"What makes his textbook for a graduate or undergraduate course practical, says Henriksen (Queen's U., Kingston, Canada), is that it starts at the very beginning and goes nearly to the end; that in so far as he can balance between tedium and necessity, he covers each step along the way; and that he uses familiar concepts of vectors, tensors, and reference systems rather than fancy new ones that students might have to learn along the way." (Booknews, 1 February 2011)

From the Back Cover

Practical Relativity is an advanced textbook that aims to emphasize the real applications of relativity and places the topic in the context of experimental science.  The ‘practical’ aspect of the book rests primarily on the author’s method of starting at the beginning of the topic and proceeding to advanced material, while including all the stages that lead to important results. This book encompasses an approach that remains as close as possible to familiar concepts of vectors, tensors and reference systems in the hope of capitalizing on received wisdom.

Presented in six chapters, each chapter takes a logical step on the way to relativistic electromagnetism and gravity.

Chapter topics are:

  • Non-relativity for Relativists
  • Invariance of Physical Law Under Change of Inertial Frame of Reference
  • Implications: Using and Understanding the Lorentz Transformations
  • Electromagnetic Theory in Space-time
  • Gravitational Structure of Space-time
  • The Measure of Space-time

Problems and examples are included throughout the book and a solutions manual is available at

This book may be used as lecture material for a course on special relativity and gravitation at an undergraduate and graduate level, and will appeal to students studying for both physics and astronomy. In addition, it will be a useful source book for physicists, astronomers and engineers.


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