A First Course in General Relativity
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A First Course in General Relativity

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  92 ratings  ·  11 reviews
General relativity has become one of the central pillars of theoretical physics, with important applications in both astrophysics and high-energy particle physics, and no modern theoretical physicist's education should be regarded as complete without some study of the subject. This textbook, based on the author's own undergraduate teaching, develops general relativity and...more
Paperback, 392 pages
Published February 22nd 1985 by Cambridge University Press (first published January 1st 1985)
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Jul 15, 2014 Joecolelife rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joecolelife by: www.CocoMartini.com
Schutz assumes basic knowledge of 3D vector calculus. He explains very clearly the essentials of the new mathematics the upper division physics undergraduate must acquire to learn the rudiments of GR, holding the readers hand through one-forms, and tensor calculous. I found it much better than MTW in that regard -- after reading about one-forms in MTW I recall thinking "but this one-form sounds like the gradient of a scalar field, which I learned to be just a *vector*, so what's the difference?!...more
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....more
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
Sumeet Pradhan
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
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!
Dylan Muckerman
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.
Well written from a mathematics viewpoint. Not 100% application but still a good text. Chapter 6 on Curved Manifolds was my favorite.
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.
This is where I started learning modern mathematics (as well as GR).
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