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Gravitation (Physics Series) [Paperback]

Charles W. Misner , Kip S. Thorne , John Archibald Wheeler
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: £98.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 1973 0716703440 978-0716703440
"One boggles at the thought of the stupendous work ... that has gone into the book. It deserves an honored place in what promises to be one of the great stages of advance in the physics of the cosmos." Contemporary Physics

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Gravitation (Physics Series) + The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time (Cambridge Monographs on Mathematical Physics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 1279 pages
  • Publisher: W. H. Freeman (1 Jan 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716703440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716703440
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 19.9 x 5.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 390,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! 28 July 1998
By A Customer
The world would be less beautiful if this book didn't exist. What a remarkable feat! The sequence that leads from the very basic concept of spacetime to the computation of the components of Riemann tensor by using forms and the Cartan equations is unparalleled. A lot of mathematical formulas follow from simple reasoning and ... drawings! The introduction of Schild's ladder to motivate the axioms for a (torsionless) connection is very clever. The introduction of curvature by means of geodesic deviation is very intuitive. The derivation of the expression for the geodesic deviation (and, consequently, of the expression for the Riemann tensor) is, again, completely intuitive. The chapter on spinors is very beautiful and useful. Still, I would never recommend this book for a beginner. For it is absolutely non-linear. I have been told that this corresponds to the ideas of Wheeler's concerning learning. Sometimes an argument at chapter 4 (say) depends on something that is intr! oduced in chapter 8. Also, the three tracks (first, second and boxes)interfere all the time, requiring much discipline from the reader. If, however, you already learned the basics (for instance, in Landau, Lifshitz), so that you know what you are looking for, "Gravitation" is unbeatable, of a class apart. I've seen mathematicians adopting the language introduced by them to explain tensors: a slot for each argument of the multilinear machine! Last, not the least, the Index and the References are of the highest quality. This shows respect for the readers. Drs. Misner, Thorne and Wheeler are to be congratulated.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Not for the Novice or weak of heart!! The Only book in any field that weighs as much as its subject!! Its HUGE!! The paper is the slick heavy type that adds tremendously to its weight and of course, lifetime use is not unusual. It's Multi-level approach is unique and the content is very well thought out. It is the Primary Textbook in this field at the Graduate Level.

Prerequisites: Geometry of Mathematical Physics by Schutz(Cambridge U Press), Graduate Mechanics and Electrodynamics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cosmological equivalent of the bible. 30 Dec 1995
By A Customer
I do not know how Misner, Wheeler and Thorne did it. A
once in a lifetime achievement. Pray that some day another
group of brilliant minds updates this. And you can use it
to improve your upper body strenth, too!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The handbook of General Relativity 20 May 2001
I recognise "Gravitation" is not the best mathematical exposition of General Relativity, it is also 27 years old. Nevertheless, it is the best reference book if it goes with other more elementary texts, like B.Schutz, or with other approach, like Weinberg. "Gravitation" is huge, great, comprehensive, practically complete and has glossy paper. It must be in every theoretical physicist assortment. I recommend it not for beginners, but for those who have learnt at least a little about Relativity and Differential Geometry. It treats with:
- Review of Special Relativity - Flat elementary Differential Geometry. - Electromagnetism and Differential forms. - The Stress-Energy tensor. - Newtonian gravity. - Differential and Riemannian Geometry (a special approach for physicists). - Equivalence principle and field equation. - Variational principles. - Classical Physics in curved spacetimes. - Relativistic stars. - Cosmology - Schwarzschild solution and black holes. - Global techniques and singularities (a little, for this I recommend Wald's book). - Gravitational waves. - Experimental tests. - Mathematical frontiers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars comprehensive but could be more concise 23 May 1998
By A Customer
The authors are leading experts on gravitational theory and this book is a comphrensive treatment of the field up to the developments to 1970, they write in a vivid, humourous manner, and spiced with stories, illustrations and wisdoms. It is a little bit too wordy though, which results in the unusually huge volume, I usually consult Wald when looking for some particular subject, and if treatments there are too terse to be understood, this book is a good better for help.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE source for info! 24 Mar 1998
By A Customer
This is the greatest source of information ever constructed concerning the modern, relativistic perspective of the universe. Definitely not for the average individual who attempts to understand the entirety of spacetime by reading Scientific American. A mathematical achievement beyond words.
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