This book has a good binding for a b&w paperback and the text is clearly chosen. Not all books do have both these items.
* Undergraduate, Graduate, Post Graduate?
From the introduction, this book is designed to help final year Applied mathematics, based upon back ground; Newtonian Mechanics, Fluid Dynamics, Newtonian gravitation, and electromagnetism. When you say the sentence quickly, it doesn't sound like much! You need, in my opinion, a good grasp of partial equations to cover any sins you may have by not having a totally full understanding of the above topics.This topic method i am trying to comprehend in 'layers' and not the whole concepts all at the same time. So i will return to this book after other in depth studies.
* The pitch of the author
The author has constructed the manner in which the explanations are explained by being very close - up to the 'mathematical grindstone', and not easily imagined as a graph in the head. This is for other books. Some authors pull back and reveal the bigger picture. This author uses the math that's watered - down somewhat.
* Some of the topics and how they are handled
The earlier pages explain the answers depend upon where your measuring from and to. Such as the classic being on a train and tossing a ball between two people as an explanation of relativity. It does not hold back early on from using symbolic mathematics with summations, bigger 4 X 4 matrices, with symbolic first and 2nd order diff equations. Say for as example, it starts the calculations from taking one point in 4 -dimensional Galilean coordinates to move to other 4 -dimensional Galilean coordinates in the form set out in standard symbolic answers.
* If its topics are hard, think of this?
This is explored on the basis of calculating going from one point in space - time to a new point in the same space time. If you think of equations of the form you may be already accustomed to, but have much more component's then this gives a grasp of the way items are tackled. The big leap is using classic electromagnetism with Maxwell equations as a doorway into Relativity using the later chapters.
Later on, the propagation of light using space time coordinates ( t, x, y, z)in terms of the wave equations really helpful to take in. Primarily due to it being based on the explanation background. By using Euclidian space as a back door into Minkowski space is a nice method by the author. And strays into some Hamiltonian - style nomenclature in the ways it explains.
* Real fun idea!
I found the later chapters spectacularly well explained topics such as the well - known 'Lorentz's Transformations', but this time in Four Dimensions, by using grad and curl partial equations very helpful. And the using of space cones as speed of light demonstration's are used. Tell you what I really enjoyed was how to travel to a star 22,000 light years from earth and returned taking in only 40 space vehicle years! And the faster than light rule still being held unbroken! But on earth there has been 44,000 years have gone past.(page 114)
The topics run into Electrodynamics including relativity variants with oodles of matrices and tougher equations. In the Appendix A, notes on exercises and B, REVIEW of Vector Calculus forms, and list of Bibliography of references.
* Update: If you in the market for a glorious in - a - minds - eye book of both General and Special relativity, i humbly recommend the following
Einstein's Universe: The Layperson's Guide Paperback - 24 Feb 2005 by Nigel Calder
* You may find these two volumes of great help too
A Student's Guide to Vectors and Tensors Paperback - 22 Sep 2011 by Daniel Fleisch
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians Paperback - 21 Nov 2013 by Patrick Hamill
If, however you study, you feel this area needs more help than this book is giving you, I have found it helpful to access a well - known video sharing website, and enter into its search engine, say 'Tensors', this combined help may be just enough to explain it to you. At a personal level, i found Special Relativity the tougher of the two to grasp.
This book is worthy to consider and its stable mate 'General Relativity' also from the SUMS printing house. If you want a poetical seeing the whole topic in the minds eye type of book, then this is for other authors to delight you with. This book gives you a foot - in - the - door to gain insight into a high end of a applied Math studies. I'm a glad I bought it, well yes.