For the most part this book delivered. But you should know calculus of several variables and linear algebra in order to start making sense of these mathematical foundations in the first place. However, it brought me back to college differential equations and calculus, and gave me a much better insight into the mathematical concepts behind the theories. The math is very dense. I was looking for a self-study book that is accessible by an high-school student 11th grade for general relativity. For the most part this book delivered. I may h If you have a science and mathematics background and want to go beyond the popularizations of Einstein's General Ralativity and understand the mathematical nuts and bolts better this book may ease you into the actual physics of relativity.
But I did get a good general sense of how the tensor math works and its physical significance for general relativity, which is really all that I could have reasonably expected. I may have to read this book a couple more times to get the math through my thick skull but this is the gentlest book that goes to next level that I could find. Nowadays it is more common to just use 'invariant mass', or simply 'mass'. This book is precisely for those of us like him who want to become self-taught. He does appear, however, to have some math and science background, and generally comes across as a bright fellow. For the serious student of relativity, this book may sit comfortbly alongside the more typical textbooks, yielding conceptual as well as mathematical intuition where others yield rigorous proof.
I confess to skimming some of the more dense Tensor calculus. I gave up after reading the first 227 pages, right after the derivation of the Einstein tensor. I do not blame the author at all, however, as this is an excellent run through the complexity of calculus, tensors, and matrices that are needed to appreciate modern cosmology, special, and general relativity. On the other hand, the central part of the book up to the second-last chapter is very good, it makes tricky things really easy to This book mantains what it promises. But then he did something really brave - arguably crazy as all truly brave acts are - and wrote a book for other people who are attempting to do the same thing. Not likely, but it did make sense to me, an amateur dilettante, and an excellent companion to 'Quantum Computing since Democritus' by Scott Aaronson 2013.
I would supplement it with the online Susskind lectures called the theoretical minimum. Einstein's book on special relativity math is available free. On one hand, most popular science books lack substance. Collier begins with a whirlwind tour of basic math. A non-physicist decided to teach himself relativity theory, using some text books and the full range of publicly available online resources.
On the other hand, most a The book lives up to its name. Available at bookshops, , and other Amazon sites worldwide, the and. Learning, after all, is normally a shared endeavor; and to be successful, it requires skill though different kinds of skill on the part of both the master and the pupil. This is a great book for a basic understanding of the mathematics of relativity. It helps if prior to reading this, one has already familiarized oneself with the concept of special relativity e.
I wanted a book that would be rigorous but that would not completely overwhelm my math knowledge, which stops at second year college calculus. As an ignorant in the field, I believe this is a very wise suggestion. I am among those of us who have not! The book is written using straightforward and accessible langu A clear and enjoyable guide to the mathematics of relativity To really understand relativity - one of the cornerstones of modern physics - you have to get to grips with the mathematics. How about trying for special relativity first. Does this mean I'm now a mathematician? It must be said, before any evaluation of the book itself, that this book fills a vacuum in the market. If that were the case with Mr Collier's book there would be no readers; yet, there are and for good reason.
It got a lot muddier for me when I had been looking for a book that would give me a mathematical introduction to special and general relativity. Understand even the basics of Einstein's amazing theory and the world will never seem the same again. The reader is then taken gently by the hand and guided through a wide range of fundamental topics, including Newtonian mechanics; the Lorentz transformations; tensor calculus; the Einstein field equations; the Schwarzschild solution which gives a good approximation of the spacetime of our Solar System ; simple black holes and relativistic cosmology. I can't say it will be easy, but it is possible and the struggle can be pleasurable -- if you have that certain turn of mind. Of course, comparisons to Feynman are a bit unfair in this regard, since he was so damned good at explaining things, so I won't hold it against Collier.
For those with minimal mathematical background, the first chapter provides a crash course in foundation mathematics. I was not able to fully absorb the Riemann curvature tensor despite rereading the relevant sections several times and supplementing the book with some side reading on the Internet, but I don't really blame the book for this. It's just too hard for a lay reader. This is difficult stuff, so it takes more than a bit of casual reading over the Christmas holiday to fully understand. It got a lot muddier for me when the book got into general relativity.
The math is very dense. But unfortunately for any prospective buyers of this book, you can only figure out what kind of student you are by diving in and seeing what happens. How about trying for special relativity first. If you have not taken courses through at least integral calculus it would probably be hard to finish this book. The reader is then taken gently by the hand and guided through a wide range of fundamental topics, including Newtonian mechanics; the Lorentz transformations; tensor calculus; the Einstein field equations; the Schwarzschild solution which gives a good approximation of the spacetime of our Solar System ; simple black holes and relativistic cosmology. A deeper understanding is going to take some further study.
For those with minimal mathematical background, the first chapter provides a crash course in foundation mathematics. If that were the case with Mr Collier's book there would be no readers; yet, there are and for good reason. Then came Newton and then special relativity. If you've followed my status updates you might be thinking it's just a catalogue of errors but that would not be fair; most of the mistakes I fo This book is astonishing, really. It would be better if all the topics required were in one book like the book I mentioned above.