- Paperback: 1279 pages
- Publisher: W. H. Freeman (September 15, 1973)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0716703440
- ISBN-13: 978-0716703440
- Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 2.2 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 68 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The new foreword by David Kaiser lays out the history of the original, and also how this new edition came about.
The new preface by Messrs. Misner and Thorne gives some additional background of the work and also a chapter-by-chapter commentary on how advances in the gravitation field have impacted the material.
In summary, for a prospective purchaser of this monumental classic, this new 2017 Princeton University Press edition is the runaway top choice for quality AND price.
If you are not yet a master, study this book (MTW) in pieces while simultaneously studying the following works: Electrodynamics by Melvin Schwartz, Classical Theory of Fields by Landau & Lifshitz, An Elementary Primer for Gauge Theory by Moriyasu, and especially the three paperbacks containing Einstein's papers (Relativity by Einstein himself, The Meaning of Relativity published by Princeton U. Press and The Principle of Relativity, a collection of papers including those by Weyl, Lorentz, Minkowski, et al.)
A couple of books on Gauge Theory or Gauge Invariance will also help immensely.
If you do this and submit yourself to MTW's engaging style, you will start to feel your brain expanding. Don't expect to learn quickly; despite a typical university program of study, 2-3 years of this is not enough to truly get it; additionally, one needs large breaks in between to digest and mull over the material.
One notion that truly astounded me upon first seeing it is covered in Section 20.6 (pg 471): Maxwell's equations can be DERIVED from the Einstein Field Equation (G = 8piT) with the use of the "Stress-Energy" Tensor for the electromagnetic field. Once I caught my breath, this got me soundly hooked.
Another pleasant but necessary diversion was CH 42 on Regge Calculus, wherein differential geometry is reviewed by using the assembly of 4-D simplexes to approximate manifolds. This chapter (and others) somewhat dates the text, but nevertheless aids in understanding, once you bend yourself to MTW's style.
It's worth it.
Also very helpful is full understanding and practice of the Principle of Least Action. Excellent companions to the subject are: The Variational Principles of Mechanics by Lanczos (another treasure), Emmy Noether's Wonderful Theorem by Neuenschwandwer, Geometry & Light by Leonhardt (the latter 2 being simple narrative approaches) and the truly legendary Mechanics by Landau & Lifshitz.
One must also visit the brief section on the Tortoise Coordinate, which elegantly elucidates how a probe could physically enter a black hole, but information sent back could never be retrieved.
I truly don't understand some negative reviews I see here. Anyone who attempts to understand this subject without studying multiple texts over multiple years is committing the worst kind of folly: mental laziness**.
Further, mathematical rigor is not an end to itself; rather, what is BEHIND it is: Physics.
Some astounding and inter-related artifacts:
1. Equivalence is only approximate
2. Thus, in the real universe, the metric tensor guv ("mu" and "nu" here intended as subscripts, or superscripts) depends on space-time shape, so there is a non-zero "dg/dx" and also a non-zero "dg/dt" near massive objects
3. Thus I introduce the term: "del (g-dot)"
4. The phenomenon of "g-dot" necessarily arises in regions where MOTION cannot be neglected, of course
**Einstein himself continued to study this right up until his death; consider that
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‘Gravitation’ by MTW is the quintessential textbook on gravitational physics.Read more