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A First Course in General Relativity

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  216 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Development of the concept of general relativity and its associated mathematics, from a minimum of prerequisites, leads to an in-depth physical understanding of the theory and its most important applications.
Paperback, 392 pages
Published February 22nd 1985 by Cambridge University Press (first published January 1st 1985)
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Aug 16, 2009 Huyen rated it it was amazing
usually, physics/ math textbooks give me giant yawns, but this one is definitely exceptional, I enjoyed reading it a lot. thank god Bernard Schutz skips all that torturous index gymnastics of differential geometry and jumps straight into special and general relativity (where half of the quantities in diff geom happily die and leave us in peace). his introduction to tensor calculus is very helpful. lots of clear explanations, for example why mutual length contraction or time dilation is not a con ...more
Oct 20, 2015 Erik rated it really liked it
Probably not a good textbook (as it is advertised) but a good reference and guide for physical clarity and intuition. Builds from SR to GR step by step.
Herjuno Nindhito
A really good book! I recommend this book for everyone who want to know how genius Einstein was. By the structure point of view, this book is spot on. It starts with mathematical tools to work with a curved space like vectors, one-forms, dual space, and tensor algebra. Then it proceeds to the redshift experiment and the importance of curved space by introducing Riemann tensor with Ricci and Einstein tensor afterwards.

Fun things start to happen when one start to work with physics in curved space.
Mar 02, 2016 Erickson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good book to start general relativity. The first four chapters carefully work out the necessary mathematics, in more geometric forms than just emphasizing transformation rules. The fluid analogy was especially helpful for understanding stress-energy tensor which is the source of gravitational field.

The next four chapters brought the readers to the real essence of general relativity - the physics and mathematics of curvature itself. Somehow he managed to bring out the flavour really clearly.
Chris Dessert
The problems weren't that great. They were mostly just asking you to explore derivations in the text more fully rather than asking interesting questions about the material. I didn't find his explanations very clear either, although in class we used a different notation so that's probably the source of that issue.
Sumeet Pradhan
Jun 06, 2012 Sumeet Pradhan rated it it was amazing
As the title indicates, a handy introduction to GR. A grasp of high school mechanics, college level calculus and linear algebra is all that you need to start digging into this book. The books starts with a refresher chapter on SR with importance laid on the geometric construct of SR rather than the analytic way that is read in high school. Few chapters familiarizes the reader with 4-vector concepts before delving into the equivalence principle that forms the core of GR. Non-euclidean geometry is ...more
Jan 08, 2011 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I said a while back that Shankar's "Principles of Quantum Mechanics" was the best textbook I ever used, I want to amend that and put this on top. Very clear and extremely interesting (But manageable!) exercises.

Although he assumes nothing beyond vector calculus and linear algebra, I can't help but come to the conclusion that I would have had a lot harder time had I no differential geometry background.

Highly recommended!
Jul 21, 2012 Dylan rated it really liked it
very good introduction to general relativity, i think. the introduction to tensors is especially great. i didn't read very much on gravitational radiation, and some of the later chapters were not as good as the earlier ones. but overall, very good. and though i don't have the most qualified opinion, i think it prepares you pretty well for MTW (if you're into that).
Jul 29, 2011 Bria added it
Dude, I know everyone makes typos, but in complex physical theories the difference between a 1 and a 0 or a + and a - can be kind of significant.
Jul 05, 2012 Matt rated it liked it
Shelves: textbooks
Well written from a mathematics viewpoint. Not 100% application but still a good text. Chapter 6 on Curved Manifolds was my favorite.
Sep 25, 2011 Bhuvanesh rated it it was amazing
Easy-to-read undergrad-level introduction to general relativity (with a review of special relativity).
Ian Durham
The best introductory text on the subject that exists. One of the best texts I've ever read.
Sep 10, 2007 Jamie rated it liked it
Shelves: mathematics
This is where I started learning modern mathematics (as well as GR).
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