Of the four fundamental forces of nature, gravity might be the least understood and yet the one with which we are most intimate. From the months each of us spent suspended in the womb anticipating birth to the moments when we wait for sleep to transport us to other realities, we are always aware of gravity. In On Gravity, physicist A. Zee combines profound depth with incisive accessibility to take us on an original and compelling tour of Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Inspired by Einstein's audacious suggestion that spacetime could ripple, Zee begins with the stunning discovery of gravity waves. He goes on to explain how gravity can be understood in comparison to other classical field theories, presents the idea of curved spacetime and the action principle, and explores cutting-edge topics, including black holes and Hawking radiation. Zee travels as far as the theory reaches, leaving us with tantalizing hints of the utterly unknown, from the intransigence of quantum gravity to the mysteries of dark matter and energy.
Concise and precise, and infused with Zee's signature warmth and freshness of style, On Gravity opens a unique pathway to comprehending relativity and gaining deep insight into gravity, spacetime, and the workings of the universe.
The text begins with an exposition of those aspects of tensor calculus and differential geometry needed for a proper treatment of the subject. The discussion then turns to the spacetime of general relativity and to geodesic motion. A brief consideration of the field equations is followed by a discussion of physics in the vicinity of massive objects, including an elementary treatment of black holes and rotating objects. The main text concludes with introductory chapters on gravitational radiation and cosmology.
This new third edition has been updated to take account of fresh observational evidence and experiments. It includes new sections on the Kerr solution (in Chapter 4) and cosmological speeds of recession (in Chapter 6). A more mathematical treatment of tensors and manifolds, included in the 1st edition, but omitted in the 2nd edition, has been restored in an appendix. Also included are two additional appendixes – "Special Relativity Review" and "The Chinese Connection" - and outline solutions to all exercises and problems, making it especially suitable for private study.
This expanded edition features several additional chapters, as well as an entirely new section describing recent developments in quantum field theory such as gravitational waves, the helicity spinor formalism, on-shell gluon scattering, recursion relations for amplitudes with complex momenta, and the hidden connection between Yang-Mills theory and Einstein gravity. Zee also provides added exercises, explanations, and examples, as well as detailed appendices, solutions to selected exercises, and suggestions for further reading.
The most accessible and comprehensive introductory textbook available Features a fully revised, updated, and expanded text Covers the latest exciting advances in the field Includes new exercises Offers a one-of-a-kind resource for students and researchers Leading universities that have adopted this book include: