Feynman Lectures On Gravitation: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Feynman Lectures On Gravitation

1st Edition

By Richard Feynman, Fernando Morinigo, William Wagner, Brian Hatfield, David Pines

CRC Press

280 pages

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pub: 2002-06-20
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The Feynman Lectures on Gravitation are based on notes prepared during a course on gravitational physics that Richard Feynman taught at Caltech during the 1962-63 academic year. For several years prior to these lectures, Feynman thought long and hard about the fundamental problems in gravitational physics, yet he published very little. These lectures represent a useful record of his viewpoints and some of his insights into gravity and its application to cosmology, superstars, wormholes, and gravitational waves at that particular time. The lectures also contain a number of fascinating digressions and asides on the foundations of physics and other issues.Characteristically, Feynman took an untraditional non-geometric approach to gravitation and general relativity based on the underlying quantum aspects of gravity. Hence, these lectures contain a unique pedagogical account of the development of Einstein's general theory of relativity as the inevitable result of the demand for a self-consistent theory of a massless spin-2 field (the graviton) coupled to the energy-momentum tensor of matter. This approach also demonstrates the intimate and fundamental connection between gauge invariance and the principle of equivalence.

Table of Contents

Foreword Quantum Gravity Lecture 1 * A Field Approach to Gravitation * The Characteristics of Gravitational Phenomena * Quantum Effects in Gravitation * On the Philosophical Problems in Quantizing macroscopic Objects * Gravitation as a Consequence of Other Fields Lecture 2 * Postulates of Statistical Mechanics * Difficulties of Speculative Mechanics * The Exchange of One Neutrino * The Exchange of Two Neutrinos Lecture 3 * The Spine of the Graviton * Amplitudes and Polarizations in Electrodynamics, Our Typical Field Theory * Amplitudes for Exchange of a Graviton * Physical Interpretation of the Terms in the Amplitudes * The Lagrangian for the Gravitational Field * The Equations for the Gravitational Field * Definition of Symbols Lecture 4 * The Connection Between the Tensor Rank and the Sign of a Field * The Stress-Energy Tensor for Scalar Matter * Amplitudes for Scattering (Scalar Theory) * Detailed Properties for Plane Waves, Compton Effect * Nonlinear Diagrams for Gravitons * The Classical Equations of Motion of a Gravitating Particle * Orbital Motion of Particle About a Star Lecture 5 * Planetary Orbits and the Precession of Mercury * Time Dilation in a Gravitational Field * Cosmological Effects of the Time Dilation. Machs Principle * Machs Principle in Quantum Mechanics * The Self Energy of the Gravitational Field Lecture 6 * The Bilinear Terms of the Stress-Energy Tensor * Formulation of a Theory Correct to All Orders * The Construction of Invariants with Respect to Infinitesimal Transformations * The Lagrangian of the Theory Correct to All Orders * The Einstein Equation for the Stress-Energy Tensor Lecture 7 * The Principle of Equivalence * Some Consequences of the Principle of Equivalence * Maximum Clock Rates in Gravity Fields * The Proper Time in General Coordinates * The Geometrical Interpretation of the Metric Tensor * Curvatures in Two and Four Dimensions * The Number of Quantities Invariant under General Transformations Lecture 8 * Transformations of Tensor Components in Nonorthogonal Coordinates * The Equations to Determine Invariants of g(( * On the Assumption that Space is Truly Flat * On the Relations Between Different Approaches to Gravity Theory * The Curvatures as Referred to Tangent Spaces * The Curvatures Referred to Arbitrary Coordinates * Properties of the Grand Curvature Tensor Lecture 9 * Modifications of Electrodynamics Required by the Principle of Equivalence * Covariant Derivatives of Tensors * Parallel Displacement of a Vector * The Connection between Curvatures and Matter Lecture 10 * The Field Equations of Gravity * The Action for Classical Particles in a Gravitational Field * The Action for matter Fields in a Gravitational Field Lecture 11 * The Curvature in the Vicinity of a Spherical Star * On the Connection Between matter and the Curvatures * The Scwarzschild Metric, the Field Outside a Spherical Star * The Schwarzschild Singularity * Speculations on the Wormhole Concept * Problems for Theoretical Investigations of the Wormholes Lecture 12 * Problems of Cosmology * Assumptions Leading to Cosmological Models * The Interpretation of the Cosmological Metric * The Measurements of Cosmological Distances * On the Characteristics of a Bounded or Open Universe Lecture 13 * On the Role of the Density of the Universe in Cosmology * On the Possibility of a Nonuniform and Nonspherical Universe * Disappearing Galaxies and Energy Conservation * Machs Principle and Boundary Conditions * Mysteries in the Heavens Lecture 14 * The Problem of Superstars in General Relativity * The Significance of Solutions and their Parameters * Some Numerical Results * Projects and Conjectures for Future Investigations of Superstars Lecture 15 * The Physical Topology of the Schwarzschild Solutions * Particle Orbits in a Schwarzschild Field * On the Future of Geometrodynamics Lecture 16 * The Coupling Between Matter Fields and Gravity * Completion of the Theory: A Simple Example of Gravitational Radiation * Radiation of Gravitons with Particle Decays * Radiation of Gravitons with Particle Scattering * The Sources of Classical Gravitational Waves Bibliography Index

About the Series

Frontiers in Physics

This long-standing, widely respected series was founded in 1961 in an effort to put forward coherent works that summarize developments in the most active and interesting areas of physics. It continues to serve that need, including textbooks, monographs, lecture notes, and professional manuals that aid in offering synthetic, authoritative accounts of the present state of the art in key subject areas of wide interest to physicists. The caliber of authors published in the series speaks to the high standards of its publication: R. P. Feynman, D. Pines, L. P. Kadanoff, R. Hofstadter, J. Schwinger, and many others.

New books in the series are commissioned by invitation. Authors are also welcome to contact the publisher, Lou Chosen, Executive Editor, lou.chosen@taylorandfrancis.com, to discuss new title ideas.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Physics