A First Course in General Relativity: Edition 2

Cambridge University Press
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Free sample

Clarity, readability and rigor combine in the second edition of this widely-used textbook to provide the first step into general relativity for undergraduate students with a minimal background in mathematics. Topics within relativity that fascinate astrophysical researchers and students alike are covered with Schutz's characteristic ease and authority - from black holes to gravitational lenses, from pulsars to the study of the Universe as a whole. This edition now contains discoveries by astronomers that require general relativity for their explanation; a revised chapter on relativistic stars, including new information on pulsars; an entirely rewritten chapter on cosmology; and an extended, comprehensive treatment of modern detectors and expected sources. Over 300 exercises, many new to this edition, give students the confidence to work with general relativity and the necessary mathematics, whilst the informal writing style makes the subject matter easily accessible. Password protected solutions for instructors are available at www.cambridge.org/9780521887052.
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About the author

Bernard Schutz has done research and teaching in general relativity and especially its applications in astronomy since 1970. He is the author of more than 200 publications, including Geometrical Methods of Mathematical Physics and Gravity from the Ground Up (both published by Cambridge University Press). Schutz currently specialises in gravitational wave research, studying the theory of potential sources and designing new methods for analysing the data from current and planned detectors. He is a member of most of the current large-scale gravitational wave projects: GEO600 (of which he is a PI), the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and LISA. Schutz is a Director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, also known as the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), in Potsdam, Germany. He holds a part-time chair in Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University, Wales, as well as honorary professorships at Potsdam and Hanover universities in Germany. Educated in the USA, he taught physics and astronomy for twenty years at Cardiff before moving to Germany in 1995 to the newly-founded AEI. In 1998 he founded the open-access online journal Living Reviews in Relativity. The Living Reviews family now includes six journals. In 2006 he was awarded the Amaldi Gold Medal of the Italian Society for Gravitation (SIGRAV), and in 2011 he received an honorary DSc from the University of Glasgow. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a member of the Learned Society of Wales, the German Academy of Natural Sciences Leopoldina and the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences, Uppsala.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
May 14, 2009
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Pages
411
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ISBN
9781139479004
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Cosmology
Science / Physics / Astrophysics
Science / Physics / Relativity
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This unique textbook provides an accessible introduction to Einstein's general theory of relativity, a subject of breathtaking beauty and supreme importance in physics. With his trademark blend of wit and incisiveness, A. Zee guides readers from the fundamentals of Newtonian mechanics to the most exciting frontiers of research today, including de Sitter and anti-de Sitter spacetimes, Kaluza-Klein theory, and brane worlds. Unlike other books on Einstein gravity, this book emphasizes the action principle and group theory as guides in constructing physical theories. Zee treats various topics in a spiral style that is easy on beginners, and includes anecdotes from the history of physics that will appeal to students and experts alike. He takes a friendly approach to the required mathematics, yet does not shy away from more advanced mathematical topics such as differential forms. The extensive discussion of black holes includes rotating and extremal black holes and Hawking radiation. The ideal textbook for undergraduate and graduate students, Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell also provides an essential resource for professional physicists and is accessible to anyone familiar with classical mechanics and electromagnetism. It features numerous exercises as well as detailed appendices covering a multitude of topics not readily found elsewhere.


Provides an accessible introduction to Einstein's general theory of relativity
Guides readers from Newtonian mechanics to the frontiers of modern research
Emphasizes symmetry and the Einstein-Hilbert action
Covers topics not found in standard textbooks on Einstein gravity
Includes interesting historical asides
Features numerous exercises and detailed appendices
Ideal for students, physicists, and scientifically minded lay readers
Solutions manual (available only to teachers)
This advanced undergraduate text introduces Einstein's general theory of relativity. The topics covered include geometric formulation of special relativity, the principle of equivalence, Einstein's field equation and its spherical-symmetric solution, as well as cosmology. An emphasis is placed on physical examples and simple applications without the full tensor apparatus. It begins by examining the physics of the equivalence principle and looks at how it inspired Einstein's idea of curved spacetime as the gravitational field. At a more mathematically accessible level, it provides a metric description of a warped space, allowing the reader to study many interesting phenomena such as gravitational time dilation, GPS operation, light deflection, precession of Mercury's perihelion, and black holes. Numerous modern topics in cosmology are discussed from primordial inflation and cosmic microwave background to the dark energy that propels an accelerating universe. Building on Cheng's previous book, 'Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology: A Basic Introduction', this text has been tailored to the advanced student. It concentrates on the core elements of the subject making it suitable for a one-semester course at the undergraduate level. It can also serve as an accessible introduction of general relativity and cosmology for those readers who want to study the subject on their own. The proper tensor formulation of Einstein's field equation is presented in an appendix chapter for those wishing to glimpse further at the mathematical details.
Winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics

Ever since Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity burst upon the world in 1915 some of the most brilliant minds of our century have sought to decipher the mysteries bequeathed by that theory, a legacy so unthinkable in some respects that even Einstein himself rejected them.

Which of these bizarre phenomena, if any, can really exist in our universe? Black holes, down which anything can fall but from which nothing can return; wormholes, short spacewarps connecting regions of the cosmos; singularities, where space and time are so violently warped that time ceases to exist and space becomes a kind of foam; gravitational waves, which carry symphonic accounts of collisions of black holes billions of years ago; and time machines, for traveling backward and forward in time.

Kip Thorne, along with fellow theorists Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, a cadre of Russians, and earlier scientists such as Oppenheimer, Wheeler and Chandrasekhar, has been in the thick of the quest to secure answers. In this masterfully written and brilliantly informed work of scientific history and explanation, Dr. Thorne, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech, leads his readers through an elegant, always human, tapestry of interlocking themes, coming finally to a uniquely informed answer to the great question: what principles control our universe and why do physicists think they know the things they think they know? Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time has been one of the greatest best-sellers in publishing history. Anyone who struggled with that book will find here a more slowly paced but equally mind-stretching experience, with the added fascination of a rich historical and human component.

Winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science.

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