13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable Meander Through The Basics,
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This review is from: Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology (Paperback)
I learnt the rudiments of GR many years ago from the likes of Schutz' First course in GR, Foster and Nightingale's Short Course in GR supplemented by various differential geometry texts and a number of others, so I approached this book having worked thoroughly through the basics of GR before. The format of the book is very nice,with excellent discussion of each new concept as it is introduced. Someone new to the subject matter, studying on their own, would find it accessible if they have the usual background: a bit of Linear Algebra; multi-variable calculus; vector calculus; differential equations etc. The exercises are fun and do-able and are fully worked in the back.. this is a bit like doing The Times crossword from a crossword book rather than the paper.. you are too easily tempted to peek in the back to ensure you are on the right track when it might be better (and more rewarding) to sweat a bit yourslf first .. I am biased though because textbooks used to have one trivial worked example followed by real brain busters sans hints or worked answers. I have to say I haven't finished reading/working through the book yet as I have very limited time but reading it in the evening as a 'refresher' I am thoroughly enjoying it. Some particular highlights so far are the author's gentle yet illuminating treatment of SR including the Electromagnetic Field in tensor notation.. paving the way nicely for more general curved spaces and spacetime in later chapters. The discussion of the Energy-Momentum tensor is excellent... 6 pages are given over to picking this apart so the reader gets a real feel for it.. introductory discussions of this object are usually terse and leave the reader scratching their head I think.Looking ahead to the last few chapters the material presented is basic yet well thought out in its presentation and I look forward to reading them.For the mathematically literate reader wanting an introduction or review of the rudiments of GR I thoroughly recommend 'Relativity Gravitation and Cosmology.'