About this book
This book is an attempt to bring the full range of relativity theory within reach of advanced undergraduates, while containing enough new material and simplifications of old arguments so as not to bore the expert teacher. Roughly equal coverage is given tospecial relativity, general relativity, and cosmology. With many judicious omissions it can be taught in one semester, but it would better serve as the basis of a year's work. It is my hope, anyway, that its level and style of presentation may appeal also to wider c1asses of readers unrestricted by credit considerations. General relativity, the modern theory of gravitation in which free particles move along "straightest possible" lines in curved spacetime, and cosmology, with its dynamics for the whole possibly curved uni verse, not only seem necessary for a scientist's balanced view of the world, but offer some of the greatest intellectual thrills of modern physics. Nevertheless, considered luxuries, they are usu ally squeezed out of the graduate curriculum by the pressure of specialization. Special relativity escapes this tag with a ven geance, and tends to be taught as a pure service discipline, with too little emphasis on its startling ideas. What better time, there fore, to enjoy these subjects for their own sake than as an und- v vi PREFACE graduate? In spite of its forbidding mathematical reputation, even general relativity is accessible at that stage.
Gravity Special relativity cosmology general relativity relativity theory of relativity