1st Edition

Core Principles of Special and General Relativity

ISBN 9781138542945
Published December 3, 2018 by CRC Press
400 Pages 149 B/W Illustrations

USD $99.95

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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

Chapter 1: Relativity: A Theory of Space, Time, and Gravity

Chapter 2: Basic Special Relativity

Chapter 3: Lorentz Transformation, I

Chapter 4: Geometry of Lorentz Invariance

Chapter 5: Tensors on Flat Spaces

Chapter 6: Lorentz Transformation, II

Chapter 7: Particle Dynamics

Chapter 8: Covariant Electrodynamics

Chapter 9: Energy-Momentum of Fields

Chapter 10: Relativistic Hydrodynamics

Chapter 11: Equivalence of Local Gravity and Acceleration

Chapter 12: Acceleration in Special Relativity

Chapter 13: Tensors on Manifolds

Chapter 14: Differential Geometry

Chapter 15: General Relativity

Chapter 16: The Schwarzschild Metric

Chapter 17: Physical Effects of Schwarzschild Spacetime

Chapter 18: Linearized Gravity

Chapter 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.


"In my view, this is a very readable text and very student-friendly. The presentation of the content is clear and there are lots of detailed illustrative examples (which are absent in many other GR texts). You might be aware that there is a strong interest on General Relativity course nowadays due to recent detection of gravitational wave and black imaging. This particular text will have potential to be well-like by students."

Prof. Kenneth Hong Chong Ming, National University of Singapore