Most helpful positive review
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5.0 out of 5 starsTremendous Value
ByAlex Drakeon 28 September 2014
I have lots of books on relativity: many at advanced undergraduate level, some graduate level. I learnt GR in the first place by working through the final chapters of Schaum's 'Vector Analysis' - curvilinear co-ordinates and basic tensor analysis before enjoying working through all of Foster and Nightingale's 'Short Course', Schutz's 'First Course in GR' and then progressing to more advanced works. I already had sound basic knowledge of Linear Algebra, Vector Calculus and Differential Equations etc before I started my (independent) study of GR. I have to say I bought Peter Collier's book for two reasons: I was curious to see if it could truly lead a 'mathematical novice' towards an understanding of Einstein's Field Equations and also I was staggered at how inexpensive the book is. Despite the enormity of the intellectual achievement in deriving the field equations in the first place, GR at this level of understanding ( basic derivation and simple applications), from a mathematical viewpoint is rather shallow water and probably accessible to many who might choose to follow the route I took. Peter Collier's book is carefully crafted, beautifully presented and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from the perspective of someone already familiar with all of the subject matter. Bravo, Peter. I cannot think of £8 better spent by myself on anything ever. Tremendous value for money.It does not pretend to be mathematically rigorous - it covers material in approximately the same depth as Lenny Susskind's entertaining Stanford Physics Lectures, omitting more difficult proofs and not getting bogged down with inappropriate mathematical rigour. I do not see in the reviews yet a delighted 'true mathematical novice' having worked all the way through it. I await this event with continued curiosity. Would Einstein himself have approved of Peter Collier's book? By his own admission never a mathematician, I am quite sure he would have applauded this attempt to bring the awesome General Theory one step closer to the common man.