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A Relativist's Toolkit: The Mathematics of Black-Hole Mechanics [Paperback]

Eric Poisson

Price: 32.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Nov 2007 0521537800 978-0521537803 1
This 2004 textbook fills a gap in the literature on general relativity by providing the advanced student with practical tools for the computation of many physically interesting quantities. The context is provided by the mathematical theory of black holes, one of the most elegant, successful, and relevant applications of general relativity. Among the topics discussed are congruencies of timelike and null geodesics, the embedding of spacelike, timelike and null hypersurfaces in spacetime, and the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of general relativity. Although the book is self-contained, it is not meant to serve as an introduction to general relativity. Instead, it is meant to help the reader acquire advanced skills and become a competent researcher in relativity and gravitational physics. The primary readership consists of graduate students in gravitational physics. It will also be a useful reference for more seasoned researchers working in this field.

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'… an elegant, thoughtful, useful and altogether commendable publication.' Contemporary Physics

'The author puts emphasis on training the readers and equipping them with the relevant skills of a working relativist. The text reaches a high pedagogical standard … In this way the author succeeds in closing a gap in the existing text book literature especially for a readership mainly oriented towards physics.' Monatshefte für Mathematik

Book Description

This 2004 textbook provides the advanced student with practical tools for the computation of many physically interesting quantities in general relativity and gravitational physics. The context is provided by the mathematical theory of black holes, one of the most elegant, successful and relevant applications of general relativity.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent At What It's Meant To Do 7 Oct 2010
By Marcus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As the book title suggests, this is not an introduction to general relativity. However, with a basic understanding of general relativity and differential geometry, this book can be a very rewarding read. There are many other text books that cover the same material, but only superficially. This book fills in the gaps and provides the details that are indispensable for anyone doing research in the field or just seeking a deep understanding of general relativity. Explanations are concise and clear, with a logic that is sound and well-organzied. The chapter on the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of general relativity is the best I have seen in any book published so far; it provides the details that Wald and Carroll either neglect or gloss over in their textbooks. I only wish the book covered a few more topics. With only 250 pages, it can stand the addition of a few more chapters, perhaps on modified theories of gravity, initial value formulation, or advanced methods for solving the Einstein field equations.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalism for relativity 25 May 2014
By Jose Fernando Rodriguez Ruiz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the few book discussing the Gibbons-York-Hawking term. Also, shows the details to get the Hamilton equations from Hilbert's action
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book for the advanced relativist 17 Feb 2014
By Prahar Mitra - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I started reading this book only yesterday. I've worked through all but the last chapter, and I'm already ready to conclude that this is an amazing book!

This book is not for the beginner in relativity. The reason is that it takes you through a lot about GR which can (should, I say) be avoided in a first pass of GR. It is difficult to get the larger picture if you learning GR for the first time from this book. I therefore suggest, you should have had at least one course on GR. For those already adept in GR (say, by reading Carroll), this book is a gold mine.

Rather than focusing on the physics behind GR (which it occasionally does though), it concerns itself with solving Einstein's equations and the various ways it can be set up. Thus, the book is exactly as it describes itself to be. It is a mathematical toolkit for people wishing to compute things in GR. What I like about it is that it works through a lot of dirty equations that other books avoid and relegate to references. This, for me is the most important factor.

The first chapter quickly goes through some basic mathematics required. If you are reading this book, most of chapter 1 should already be familiar to you. Ch 2 discusses various geometrical aspects of curved spacetimes, such as the Raychaudhuri equations, the energy conditions, etc. Chapter 3 is a thorough discussion of hypersurfaces and its geometries. Ch 4 uses a lot of Ch. 3. Here the ADM formalism of GR is discussed. The final chapter (which I am yet to read) discussed black holes.
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what it says on the cover 9 Aug 2012
By Joshua Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book, but don't expect it to be a general reference on the subject of general relativity. It is aimed at developing just what is needed for basic theoretical black hole mechanics. It does this admirably, with a minimum of mathematical fuss.
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