3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An excellent, enjoyable, book,
This review is from: Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology (Paperback)
I bought this book for self study and have found it to be excellent and very enjoyable. It's not a light hearted skip through the main concepts in each of the topics covered and some specific focussed effort will be required to work through the subject matter - but that's what you would expect right? The subject matter here is complex and can only be simplified so far before it becomes trivialised and nothing useful is gained. This book doesn't do that. It introduces the concepts that are central to the subject matter (e.g. four vectors, tensors, differential geometry etc) in gentle steps without attempting to be a mathematically rigorous treatment of any of them. In my case I got enough of an understanding of the ideas behind these concepts from this book to read around each of them in separate books which are more dedicated to the specific topics and then move onto more rigorous treatments of the topics of this book - mainly GR and Cosmology for me.
I think anyone interested in the subject matter could use this book to gain a "first-course" type understanding of the main topics covered then move onto more rigorous treatments if desired. If you have a background in the physical sciences you should be able to start straight away and work through this book with some effort. If you don't have a background in the the physical sciences I think you could still work through the book though you will probably have to do some peripheral reading to catch up with some of the background ideas/mathematical tools. That's not a weakness of this book, just a consequence of the subject matter - some of the topics covered are quite abstract and require some abstract tools to handle them.
The book contains worked examples which is a great asset and is beautifully produced. Although it's a paperback I've had no problems with the spine splitting that can sometimes happen with paperback bindings.
All in all a fantastic book, well made, beautifully presented and highly recommended.