Core Principles of Special and General Relativity  book cover
1st Edition

Core Principles of Special and General Relativity

ISBN 9780367780678
Published March 31, 2021 by CRC Press
400 Pages

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Book Description

This book provides an accessible, yet thorough, introduction to special and general relativity, crafted and class-tested over many years of teaching. Suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this book provides clear descriptions of how to approach the mathematics and physics involved. It is also contains the latest exciting developments in the field, including dark energy, gravitational waves, and frame dragging.

The table of contents has been carefully developed in consultation with a large number of instructors teaching courses worldwide, to ensure its wide applicability to modules on relativity and gravitation.


  • A clear, accessible writing style, presenting a sophisticated approach to the subject, that remains suitable for advanced undergraduate students and above

  • Class-tested over many years

  • To be accompanied by a partner volume on ‘Advanced Topics’ for students to further extend their learning

Table of Contents

1. Relativity: A theory of space, time, and gravity 2. Basic special relativity 3. Lorentz transformation, I 4. Geometry of Lorentz invariance 5. Tensors on flat spaces 6. Lorentz transformation, II 7. Particle dynamics 8. Covariant electrodynamics 9. Energy-momentum of fields 10. Relativistic hydrodynamics 11. Equivalence of local gravity and acceleration 12. Acceleration in special relativity 13. Tensors on manifolds 14. Differential geometry 15. General relativity 16. The Schwarzschild metric 17. Physical effects of Schwarzschild spacetime 18. Linearized gravity 19. Relativistic cosmology. Appendix A: Invariance of the wave equation Appendix B: The Doppler effect Appendix C: Topics in linear algebra Appendix D: Topics in classical mechanics Appendix E: Photon and particle orbits

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James H. Luscombe is Professor of Physics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1983. After post-doctoral positions at the University of Toronto and Iowa State University, he joined the Research Laboratory of Texas Instruments, where he worked on the development of nanoelectronic devices, before joining the Naval Postgraduate School in 1994. He was Chair of the Department of Physics between 2003 and 2009. He teaches a wide variety of topics, including general relativity, statistical mechanics, mathematical methods, and quantum computation. He has published more than 60 research articles, has given more than 100 conference presentations, holds 2 patents, and is the author of Thermodynamics - an introductory textbook published by CRC Press.