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This introductory textbook on the general theory of relativity presents a solid foundation for those who want to learn about relativity. The subject is presented in a physically intuitive, but mathematically rigorous style. The topic of relativity is covered in a broad and deep manner. Besides, the aim is that after reading the book a student should not feel discouraged when she opens advanced texts on general relativity for further reading. The book consists of three parts: An introduction to the general theory of relativity. Geometrical mathematical background material. Topics that include the action principle, weak gravitational fields and gravitational waves, Schwarzschild and Kerr solution, and the Friedman equation in cosmology. The book is suitable for advanced graduates and graduates, but also for established researchers wishing to be educated about the field.

Author : Eric Baird
ISBN : 9780955706806
Genre : Science
File Size : 58.69 MB
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Relativity theory has become one of the icons of Twentieth Century science. It's reckoned to be a difficult subject, taught as a layered series of increasingly difficult mathematics and increasingly abstract concepts. We're told that relativity theory is supposed to be this complicated and counter-intuitive. But how much of this historical complexity is really necessary? Can we bypass the interpretations and paradoxes and pseudoparadoxes of Einstein's special theory and jump directly to a deeper and more intuitive description of reality? What if curvature is a fundamental part of physics, and a final theory of relativity shouldn't reduce to Einstein's "flat" 1905 theory //on principle//? "Relativity..." takes us on a whistlestop tour of Twentieth Century physics - from black holes, quantum mechanics, wormholes and the Big Bang to the workings of the human mind, and asks: what would physics look like without special relativity? 394 printed pages, 234156 mm, ~200 figures and illustrations, includes bibliography and index www.relativitybook.com

Author : Lawrence Sklar
ISBN : 0520031741
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 22.68 MB
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In this book, Lawrence Sklar demonstrates the interdependence of science and philosophy by examining a number of crucial problems on the nature of space and time--problems that require for their resolution the resources of philosophy and of physics. The overall issues explored are our knowledge of the geometry of the world, the existence of spacetime as an entity over and above the material objects of the world, the relation between temporal order and causal order, and the problem of the direction of time. Without neglecting the most subtle philosophical points or the most advanced contributions of contemporary physics, the author has taken pains to make his explorations intelligible to the reader with no advanced training in physics, mathematics, or philosophy. The arguments are set forth step-by-step, beginning from first principles; and the philosophical discussions are supplemented in detail by nontechnical expositions of crucial features of physical theories.

Puts the emphasis on conceptual questions: Why is there no such thing as absolute motion? What is the physical meaning of relativity of simultaneity? But, the most important question that is addressed in this book is "what is the nature of spacetime?" or, equivalently, "what is the dimensionality of the world at the macroscopic level?" Develops answers to these questions via a thorough analysis of relativistic effects and explicitly asking whether the objects involved in those effects are three-dimensional or four-dimensional. Discusses the implication of the result (this analysis clearly shows that if the world and the physical objects were three-dimensional, none of the kinematic relativistic effects and the experimental evidence supporting them would be possible) for physics, philosophy, and our entire world view are discussed.

Author : Gregory L. Naber
ISBN : 0521336120
Genre : Mathematics
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Naber provides an elementary introduction to the geometrical methods and notions used in special and general relativity. Particular emphasis is placed on the ideas concerned with the structure of space-time and that play a role in the Penrose-Hawking singularity theorems. The author's primary purpose is to give a rigorous proof of the simplest of these theorems, by the one that is representative of the whole. He provides exercises and examples at the end of each chapter. No previous exposure either to relativity theory of differential geometry is required of the reader, as necessary concepts are developed when needed, though some restrictions ae imposed on the types of space considered.

Dedicated to the centennial anniversary of Minkowski's discovery of spacetime, this volume contains papers, most presented at the Third International Conference on the Nature and Ontology of Spacetime, that address some of the deepest questions in physics.

Author : Lawrence B. Crowell
ISBN : 9789812565150
Genre : Science
File Size : 60.98 MB
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Three key aspects of quantum gravity are considered in this book: phenomenology, potential experimental aspects and foundational theory. The phenomenology is the treatment of metric quantum fluctuations as torsional curves that deviate from classical expectations. This leads to possible experimental configurations that may detect such fluctuations. Most of these proposed experiments are quantum optical measurements of subtle quantum gravity effects in the interaction of photons and atoms. The foundational discussions attempt to find an substratum to string theories, which are motivated by the phenomenological treatment. Quantum gravity is not the quantization of general relativity, but is instead the embedding of quantum theory and gravitation into a more fundamental field theoretic framework.

Author : Gregory L. Naber
ISBN : 0486432351
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 60.73 MB
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This mathematically rigorous treatment examines Zeeman's characterization of the causal automorphisms of Minkowski spacetime and the Penrose theorem concerning the apparent shape of a relativistically moving sphere. Other topics include the construction of a geometric theory of the electromagnetic field; an in-depth introduction to the theory of spinors; and a classification of electromagnetic fields in both tensor and spinor form. Appendixes introduce a topology for Minkowski spacetime and discuss Dirac's famous "Scissors Problem." Appropriate for graduate-level courses, this text presumes only a knowledge of linear algebra and elementary point-set topology. 1992 edition. 43 figures.