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General Relativity: An Introduction for Physicists [Hardcover]

M. P. Hobson , G. P. Efstathiou , A. N. Lasenby
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Feb 2006 0521829518 978-0521829519
General Relativity: An Introduction for Physicists provides a clear mathematical introduction to Einstein's theory of general relativity. It presents a wide range of applications of the theory, concentrating on its physical consequences. After reviewing the basic concepts, the authors present a clear and intuitive discussion of the mathematical background, including the necessary tools of tensor calculus and differential geometry. These tools are then used to develop the topic of special relativity and to discuss electromagnetism in Minkowski spacetime. Gravitation as spacetime curvature is then introduced and the field equations of general relativity derived. After applying the theory to a wide range of physical situations, the book concludes with a brief discussion of classical field theory and the derivation of general relativity from a variational principle. Written for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this approachable textbook contains over 300 exercises to illuminate and extend the discussion in the text.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 589 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (2 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521829518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521829519
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 17 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 381,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'… this book is a fine introduction and exposition of many of the theory's features. … A beautiful approach is taken: the authors show that a consistent theory of electromagnetism can be derived from the simple supposition that there is a force … I strongly recommend this book for a very wide range of readers. Advanced undergraduates will obtain a good first understanding of GR; postgraduates will find it a useful reference book, and will no doubt learn a great deal that they have not fully covered at undergraduate level. Researchers and lecturers will also find it an invaluable book, not only for recommending to students, but also for obtaining significant new insights themselves.' The Observatory

'What I enjoyed was the clarity. The text was erudite and thorough, and flowed beautifully.… It was clear that students, with diligent application, could work their own way through the text and benefit hugely from self discovery of this fascinating subject.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

'The book is well-written and easy to follow because it is essentially self-contained and every new concept is carefully motivated and justified. Exercises are given at the end of every chapter and numerous examples appear throughout the text.' General Relativity and Gravitation

Book Description

Written for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this is a clear mathematical introduction to Einstein's theory of general relativity and its physical applications. Concentrating on the theory's physical consequences, this approachable textbook contains over 300 exercises to illuminate and extend the discussion.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
We begin our discussion of the relativistic theory of gravity by reviewing some basic notions underlying the Newtonian and special-relativistic viewpoints of space and time. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent start into GR 13 Sep 2009
By Daniboy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book if you haven't studied general relativity before. It starts off from special relativity, then develops the mathematical formalism needed for GR, then goes on and treats forces and metrics in GR.

I found it really well written, both with very thorough maths but most importantly with good geometric interpretations of the mathematics, which enable you to lock it down in your memory very easily.

The only problem I see is that it should more or less be read with the chapters in the right order, you cannot sudenly skip to the electromagnetism chapter as there are a lot of references to concepts explained in previous chapters. This means that it takes a bit to read it, though the reading is relatively smooth and you can keep a "sustained pace". I didn't read as much of the book as I would have liked as it does take quite a while, but I still got a very high mark on the exam.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only General Relativity I will recommend 19 May 2011
Format:Hardcover
This is a nice introduction to the subject. It is at undergraduate level, and assumes knowledge of classical mechanics and differential equations.
It starts with special relativity and the Lorentz transformation, then goes on to introduce differential geometry - really for physicists. There are no one-forms, this is not the 'modern' differential geometry of Schutz. Instead, there are the covariant and contravariant vectors and tensors of old fashioned GR, and the authors explain them in a clear-to-understand way. This really helps later in the book with Schwarzschild black holes, stellar interiors and cosmology.
If you want to understand GR and don't care about analysis-style proofs, get this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Alpha
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"General relativity" by Hobson, Efstathiou and Lasenby is a gem. When I bought it, I had already picked up several other books on general relativity (GR), but none of them really satisfied me. This book was the only one that left me feeling at ease with the physical principles and the mathematical apparatus of GR. Assuming only a basic knowledge of special relativity and vector calculus, it develops the theory in a way that is intuitive, accessible and enjoyable.

The mathematical background (tensor calculus, metrics, curvature etc.)is presented in a way that is extremely easy to visualize. It doesn't do the maths in the most rigorous way, but it does do it in the most intuitive way. That intuition is absolutely indispensible.

Once the mathematics is in place, the Einstein field equations are justified in a manner that is compelling and convincing - the equations almost end up feeling inevitable! The authors pay particular attention to how observers make measurements in GR; this is a crucial thing to understand, yet it is covered so poorly in many other books.

Finally, the authors go on to look at particular solutions of the field equations, including black holes, cosmology and gravity waves. They examine experimental and observational evidence as well as the theory. For exam purposes, this book is very helpful because it trains you to derive and solve equations of motion in almost an algorithmic way.

This book was a lifesaver for me - I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good tutorial material 15 Mar 2014
By John
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book very good at giving insights and as a general tutorial. It covers the subject well as a general introduction.
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