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Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology Paperback – July 26, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (July 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521131383
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521131384
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.8 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #836,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The author has done a great job of producing a text suitable for upper level undergrads and even first year graduate students. The graphics are very good and I particularly appreciate the concise chapter summaries and the exercises with solutions. Students will love this text. I will definitely use it in my upper division classes." - Professor John Huchra, Harvard University

"The presentation of special and general relativity is remarkably clear, with explicit derivations and explanations accompanied by useful and relevant exercises. This text strikes a nice balance between theory and applications and does a commendable job of bringing undergraduates up to speed on a challenging topic. I highly recommend it for a first undergraduate course in general relativity." - Dr Jeremy Darling, University of Colorado

"...is an attractive production, with nice clear diagrams, good use of colour, and photographs and thumb-nail sketches of the major contributors to the field. Lambourne's book really scores, however, in its careful, thorough and well thought-out presentation of the subject...The text reads very comfortably and creates a sense that one is being guided by experienced and knowledgeable authors...This is an excellent volume which can be highly recommended for an introductory course on general relativity and I hope will have the effect of increasing understanding of this most beautiful and striking creation of twentieth century physics." - Lewis Ryder, Contemporary Physics, May 2011

Book Description

Aimed at advanced undergraduates, this self-contained textbook covers the key ideas of special and general relativity and their applications. In full colour, it contains numerous worked examples and exercises with solutions. Key points and equations are highlighted, and each chapter ends with a summary list of important concepts and results.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By gengogakusha on March 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
on the reader but covering the basics in a pedagogically skillful manner. I have not read all of this book, but I have read enough to recommend it to those who want to go beyond popular explanations but are somewhat intimidated by the standard, frequently recommended introductions, e.g., Schutz's A First Course in General Relativity, Hartle's Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity or Cheng's Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology: A Basic Introduction (Oxford Master Series in Physics).

Update 10/02/2012: Just noticed there is a very detailed ToC is available in pdf form from the publisher's website.

I am keeping my less detailed ToC below in case that's more convenient.

Here's the Table of Contents:

Ch.1 Special Relativity and Spacetime [11 - 44]:
1.1 Basic concepts
1.2 Coordinate transformations
1.3 Consequences of Lorentz transformation
1.4 Minkowski spacetime

Interestingly, the discussion of the famous so-called Twin Paradox (no paradox at all), in which one twin stays at home and the other travels away to some distant place and back home only to find his stay-at-home twin older, is analyzed from both the stay-at-home (inertial) twin's viewpoint and the traveling (accelerated) twin's viewpoint.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Chris Fox on October 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
But no, it's true.

Ok, folks, let's be candid. Most of you are trying to teach yourselves this stuff. You've made it through quantum mechanics, you get Special Relativity well enough, but General Relativity is an impenetrable barrier. Hartle and Wall are hard, Misner Thorne & Wheeler is terrifying.

This is the book you want. The math is clearly presented and the many diagrams and enormously helpful. Each chapter has a summary to prepare you for what follows.

Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Remus on December 31, 2013
Format: Paperback
I bought this book as a teaser before attending the relativity course with Open University UK, as this book is material for the course. I trusted this book would help me learn relativity in advance of the course, and I was not wrong. As a matter of fact, all the course material from OU proved comprehensive; without these courses I would have not been able to understand quantum mechanics, differential equations, simple relativity and, until now - some general relativity (as I did not finish this book yet).

Most probably you will not be able to successfully get through this material unless you already have advanced mathematical knowledge at undergraduate level (differential equations, matrices, vector spaces etc...).

What I appreciate very much about this book is that it introduces four vectors and four tensors in a "gentle" manner, your understanding of these notions comes up naturally while reading the book and learning the physics behind the pages, being less worried about the math. I am currently reading the end of the third chapter, learning about space curvature and the Reimann tensor. So far so good!
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Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology
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