Einstein's general theory of relativity -- currently our best theory of gravity -- is important not only to specialists, but to a much wider group of physicists. This short textbook on general relativity and gravitation is aimed at readers with a broad range of interests in physics, from cosmology, to gravitational radiation, to high energy physics, to condensed matter theory. The pedagogical approach is physics first : readers move very quickly to the calculation of observational predictions, and only return to the mathematical foundations after the physics is established. While it covers a standard list of topics, it also introduces a variety of more advanced subjects as teasers to encourage students to look further: for instance, why field equations are second order, how to treat gravitational energy, and what is required for a Hamiltonian formulation of general relativity. A concluding chapter discusses directions for further study, from mathematical relativity, to experimental tests, to quantum gravity. This is an introductory text, but it has also been written as a jumping-off point for readers who plan to study more specialized topics. As a textbook, it is designed for a one-quarter course, and is also suitable for one-semester courses.
Steven Carlip (Department of Physics University of California at Davis)
Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:
13 February 2019
A / AS level
1: Gravity as geometry 2: Geodesics 3: Geodesics in the Solar System 4: Manifolds and tensors 5: Derivatives and curvature 6: The Einstein field equations 7: The stress-energy tensor 8: The weak field approximation 9: Gravitational waves 10: Black holes 11: Cosmology 12: Next steps Appendix A: Mathematical details
Steven Carlip received an undergraduate degree in physics from Harvard in 1975. After seven years as a printer, editor, factory worker, and activist, he returned to graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1987. Following a stint as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, he joined the faculty of the University of California at Davis, where he has remained since. His main research focus is quantum gravity, but he has also worked on classical general relativity, quantum field theory, and the interface between physics and topology.
Reviews for General Relativity: A Concise Introduction
This is a really remarkable book. It has only 150 pages, but it introduces Einstein's general theory of relativity on firm grounds with carefully chosen explanations. It covers both the differential geometric part and the physics part in a well-balanced matter...This is an introductory text, but it has also been written as a jumping off point for readers who plan to study more specialized topics. * Hans-Jurgen Schmidt, zbMATH * Steven Carlip has produced a modern, concise, and pedagogical introduction to general relativity. This is the way the theory should be presented in our time. From students to experienced researchers, it is essential reading for everyone interested in this fascinating field. * Claus Kiefer, University of Cologne *