This text explains special relativity and the foundations of general relativity theory in terms understandable to undergraduates in mathematics and physics coming to the subject for the first time. Space-time geometry is emphasized throughout, providing a basic understanding of the special relativity effects of time dilation, length contraction, and the relativity of simultaneity. Bondi's k-calculus is introduced as a simple means of calculating the magnitudes of these effects, and this leads to a derivation of the Lorentz Transformation as a way of unifying these results. The invariant interval of flat space-time is compared to that of curved space-times, and the basic properties of simple cosmological models are presented. Appendices enable the advanced student to master the application of four tensors to the relativistic study of energy, momentum and electromagnetism.
A text intended to acquaint undergraduates with the standard details of special relativity and the foundations of general relativity. The authors are capable (have been associated with the Institute for Advanced Studies, the Universities of Texas and Cambridge), and their text derives from lectures presented at the U. of Cape Town. Their approach is geometrical, and the book abundantly/effectively illustrated. Provides instructors with a useful alternative to (for example) Taylor & Wheeler's Spacetime physics (W.H. Freeman, 1963), though some will take exception to its tempo; one encounters Lorentz transformations only in the last of the four chapters devoted to the special theory, and the bulk of the book tends to make the subject seem more complicated than it is. Exercises punctuate the text at frequent intervals, appendices, reasonbly priced, no bibliography. (NW) Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.