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General Relativity [Paperback]

3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: £37.00
Price: £33.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jun 1984
"Wald's book is clearly the first textbook on general relativity with a totally modern point of view; and it succeeds very well where others are only partially successful. The book includes full discussions of many problems of current interest which are not treated in any extant book, and all these matters are considered with perception and understanding."—S. Chandrasekhar

"A tour de force: lucid, straightforward, mathematically rigorous, exacting in the analysis of the theory in its physical aspect."—L. P. Hughston, Times Higher Education Supplement

"Truly excellent. . . . A sophisticated text of manageable size that will probably be read by every student of relativity, astrophysics, and field theory for years to come."—James W. York, Physics Today

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Product details

  • Paperback: 506 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (1 Jun 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226870332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226870335
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 17 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 185,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Robert M. Wald is professor in the Department of Physics and the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Space, Time, and Gravity: The Theory of the Big Bang and Black Holes, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Advanced, NOT the TELEPHONE BOOK 5 April 2001
Wald's title is great and one of the best for a graduate course. It treats clearly with the mathematics, the Einstein equation and their conclusions, demonstrating every assert or theorem. However it isn't a book for beginners or for a complete reference of the subject. It centers its attention with black hole thermodynamics, singularity theorems, causality and things like spinors. The fundaments, and above all, the underlying ideas of General Relativity are treated very quickly, but it is ideal for people who know general relativity and want to increase his skills in order to become a "relativistic expert".
I think that this should be the relativity references (in order):
* Beginner: Spacetime Physics (Wheeler, Taylor), A journey into spacetime and gravitation (Wheeler), Exploring Black Holes (Wheeler, Taylor), A short course in General Relativity (Schutz; you only need multivariable calculus).
* "Middle": Spacetime Physics, A short course in General Relativity, Geometrical Methods of Mathematical Physics (Schutz), Gravitation (Misner, Thorne, Wheeler) = the telephone book.
* Advanced: A short course in General Relativity, Geometrical Methods of Mathematical Physics, Gravitation, (only part of) Geometry Topology and Physics (Nakahara), General Relativity (Wald), The Large structure of SpaceTime (Hawking).
Of course, these are only my orientative guidelines. Gravitation and Cosmology by Weinberg is a great book, but I don't like it because of his not geometric approach, all of above treat the modern point of view of Differential Geometry, clear, beauty and intuitive, despite not being the approach used by Einstein.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Offers the clearest introduction available (using the best notation) to the mathematical background (e.g. the connection). Concise, careful, and clear. Particularly strong on singularity theorems, causality, and black hole thermodynamics. Narrower coverage than Stephani or d'Inverno, but provides the best introduction to these topics. Includes problems. Should appeal particularly to mathematically minded readers. This book might look daunting at first glance but I think it is actually very "reader-friendly"-- I find I appreciate it more each time I return to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for begginers. 8 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book covers a wide range of different topics in General Relativity, from Einstein's Equation and gravitational waves, to black holes, passing trough Cosmology and differents types of universes and their evolution.
The book begins with three chapters with preliminary mathematics (Riemann geometry, manifolds and tensors) deep but too short, so one should complete this part with another book on Tensor Calculus.
The treatment of the topics is formal but too abstrac and it has no examples or worked problems, so if it's the first time you read something on General Relativity it would be too hard for you.
So, it's a good book, but you need a solid basis to a good understanding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great graduate text, but not for beginners 30 Jun 2010
By Alpha
This is wonderful advanced text on general relativity. It covers many of the modern developments in GR (e.g. singularity theorems, black hole thermodynamics) that are hard to find anywhere else, and it does this with plenty of mathematical rigour. Although the writing comes over as quite dry and uninspiring sometimes, this book is still an extremely valuable resource. It's often a straight choice between reading Wald and digging up research papers from the 1970s.

A word of warning: Unless you are an absolute genius, you have no hope of understanding this book unless you have done general relativity and differential geometry before. "General relativity" by Hobson, Efstathiou and Lasenby adopts a simpler but more intuitive approach to differential geometry and doesn't gloss over the basic physical principles. Do not expect to learn differential geometry from Wald either - try "Modern Mathematical Physics" by Szekeres first.

However, as long as you are ready for it, you will find Wald's exposition very readable and very rewarding.
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By A Customer
The excellent book by Robert Wald is really indispensable for every active theoretical physicist. I completely agree with the characterization given for this book in its presentation by
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