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on 29 June 2016
This was a present for Father's Day and it is great! When I got the book I was at a basic level of calculus, matrices and conics but this book was able to teach me what I needed before implementing them, then show me how it is a useful and necessary tool in relativity. There are times in other books where I need to move on to another source of information to help me fully understand what it being taught to me but this book gives everything in bite-size pieces over ~320 pages, a portion at the start and a little in the middle just is used to familiarise you with the mathematics that you will need for the next sections.

If you are to flick ahead you will see a lot of daunting mathematics but by the time you have read to it, it makes perfect sense and gives you not just knowledge of relativity but also an understanding. I would recommend this book to people who haven't yet looked too much into the mathematics of relativity but understand the basic ideas and also you need to be quite familiar with algebra. You can read the book with a lower knowledge of maths but you might hit walls at some points, just like anywhere else in physics.
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on 13 July 2012
Although many years since I utilised my dubious mathematical skills, this book brought me up to speed (almost) painlessly, and introduced me to the application of this knowledge towards a fuller understanding of relativity.
It is also bang up to date (2011-12).
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on 4 April 2015
Succeeds in demolishing the idea of a 'scientist' by rendering science accessible to anyone with sufficient enthusiasm, and not merely the privilege of a few high priests. It's well conceived and well written. My only criticism is the ugly TeX typography, with its idiotic numbering, eg "Figure 0.1" beneath the first diagram. For such a gem, I can happily put up even with that. Why can't school texts be as inspiring,clear and readable?
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on 12 September 2016
I bought this book when I was getting ready to do an MSc in Astrophysics at UCL as a mature student having been away from maths and physics for over twenty years. I thought it was a great intro and did a fine job of giving a decent start to the necessary tensor calculus which is essential for this area. It is not comprehensive and doesn't go very far - given that it spends a fair bit of time in more basic mathematical background - but it never claims to. It was amazingly confidence building and provided a great entry point to move onto more comprehensive texts on GR (my favourites the two Woodhouse books on SR and GR in Springer) and served me well enough to set me on the road of being a professional cosmologist. I would highly recommend this book especially if you have been away from maths and physics for a while and need a text to hold your hand while you get back in.
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on 22 July 2014
Chapter1 basically takes you to a place slightly beyond A-Level Pure and Applied Mathematics and A-Level Further Mathematics. If you've learned A-Level Physics too, you've basically got most of chapter 2 also. From then on, you need to get into serious learning mode. This is a physics book, and as such, it can't really give you the grounding in mathematics and familiarity that comes with learning mathematics as a separate subject. That is, it points you to the areas of mathematics which you need and you will have to find the motivation to learn or relearn it in able to move onto the next bit. Matrices have always been my weak point, and I've paused to relearn them as they are crucial to the later chapters. It will be interesting how I shall be with tensors, and the spacetime manifold geometry etc. My goal is an understanding of relativity and how it pertains to cosmology. From a cursory look through, it seems this book is going to be a hard but interesting slog to reach that goal.

The author's website has a list of corrections. I've printed it out, 16 pages of them. It's just my luck that I bought this book a couple of weeks prior to the author issuing a statement that a corrected Second Edition is out from 14 June 2014. However, having bought lots of physics textbooks in my day, this volume is very cheap (rrp £9.99) for the value of the information inside. I got my older first edition at a cut price, so I am not complaining.
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on 16 March 2015
This book could have been entitled "a thing made comprehensible". Considering that the "thing" is relativity and that I understood almost all of it until I got to page 62, I think this is a truly brilliant text. I'll admit that beyond page 62, the maths started to pass me by, but I still read the whole book and I am determined to read it again and extend my understanding of the theories by at least another 30 pages. Perhaps the most remarkable thing of all is that I am actually looking forward to digging deeper into the mathematics and associated physics and unravelling a theory that has hitherto, at least to me, been incomprehensible.
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on 12 January 2015
I hesitated to buy this book as a Kindle edition, as previous reviewers had stated that equations and graphs were illegibly tiny, making it completely uselss. However, the equations and graphs in this new 2014 revised edition are absolutely clear on my Kindle for PC (the free Amazon reader app) and on my iPad. It's also a terrific book. One of the obstacles to mathematically interested laymen trying to get to grips with modern physics is that, unless you're already a mathematician, it's hard to figure out what maths you need to learn - and what maths you need to know before that, in order to understand the more advanced stuff - and so on. This book encapsulates in a structured course in the necessary maths in a very understandable format. It will also give you the grounding you need to move on to even more advanced work, should you be inspired to go there. Highly recommended.
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on 28 February 2013
This book is absolutely brilliant if you have forgotten some of the maths. There are also numerous clear examples that have been worked out to illustrate the techniques. It is clearly rigorous with simple explanations, and covers the things you might have forgotten about Newtonian Mechanics too.
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on 4 January 2015
This is a glorious book, easily worth ten times the asking price. I now understand special relativity quite a lot, and general relativity a little. But the unknowns are all known, as it were, and I can and will go back to patch the gaps. Don't underestimate this book - it begins at the beginning of maths and takes you all the way to the end of general relativity.

I had just started Einstein's own book, but broke off to read this one, and I'm so glad I did. Now I'll return to the master.

The diagrams and maths all render perfectly on iPad Kindle app. Don't hesitate to buy this.
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on 23 November 2013
One of the best expositions of the topic I have ever read. Whilst I am coming to terms with much of the mathematics, I feel that with a little more re-reading I am beginning to see fundamental concepts falling into place. I have never really gotten my head around tensors, until now. I can now begin to appreciate how beautiful Einstein's general theory of relativity truly is. I have studied courses on special relativity and I too thought, as the author did, was nothing too difficult. There are many books that attempt to explain the topic but These always steered away from the maths, an I was always left wanting to know more. When I read the sample chapter for this book I was convinced that this was the book I was always looking for. You will not be disappointed in purchasing this book if you want this deeper understanding.
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