A Most Incomprehensible Thing: Notes Towards a Very Gentle Introduction to the Mathematics of Relativity

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9780957389458: A Most Incomprehensible Thing: Notes Towards a Very Gentle Introduction to the Mathematics of Relativity

*** March 2017 - a new, third edition (orange cover, ISBN 9780957389465) of this paperback book is now available. ***

A clear, enjoyable guide to the mathematics of relativity - An Amazon Best Seller
To really understand relativity - one of the cornerstones of modern physics - you have to get to grips with the mathematics. This user-friendly self-study guide is aimed at the general reader who is motivated to tackle that not insignificant challenge. The book is written using straightforward and accessible language, with clear derivations and explanations as well as numerous fully solved problems. For those with minimal mathematical background, the first chapter provides a crash course in foundation mathematics. The reader is then taken gently by the hand and guided through a wide range of fundamental topics, including Newtonian mechanics; the Lorentz transformations; tensor calculus; the Einstein field equations; the Schwarzschild solution (which gives a good approximation of the spacetime of our Solar System); simple black holes and relativistic cosmology. Following the historic 2015 LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) detection, there is now an additional chapter on gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime that potentially provide a revolutionary new way to study the universe.

Special relativity helps explain a huge range of non-gravitational physical phenomena and has some strangely counter-intuitive consequences. These include time dilation, length contraction, the relativity of simultaneity, mass-energy equivalence and an absolute speed limit. General relativity, the leading theory of gravity, is at the heart of our understanding of cosmology and black holes.

Understand even the basics of Einstein's amazing theory and the world will never seem the same again.

Reader reviews
" ... do not be put off by the title! This is a great book on relativity which nicely bridges the gap between those books catering for readers who know little or nothing about relativity and those texts intended for physics mathematical specialists." - Amazon.co.uk

"Long story made short ... it is a gem. It works through the essential material and concepts carefully and patiently, and you would have a hard time not tracking the text, it is so clear. I highly recommend this book." - Amazon.com

"Well done - a magnificent achievement" - Amazon.co.uk

"Highly recommended for anyone willing to invest some time and effort." - Amazon.com

Contents
Preface
Introduction
1 Foundation mathematics
2 Newtonian mechanics
3 Special relativity
4 Introducing the manifold
5 Scalars, vectors, one-forms and tensors
6 More on curvature
7 General relativity
8 The Newtonian limit
9 The Schwarzschild metric
10 Schwarzschild black holes
11 Cosmology
12 Gravitational waves
Appendix: The Riemann curvature tensor
Bibliography
Acknowledgements

November 2016 - this revised and corrected second edition now includes a new chapter on gravitational waves and a new appendix showing the derivation of the Riemann curvature tensor and some of its most important symmetries.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

Review:

"An accessible introduction to general and special theories of relativity" (Physicsdatabase.com)

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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