Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology: A Basic Introduction

Paperback | December 5, 2009

byTa-Pei Cheng

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Einstein's general theory of relativity is introduced in this advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate level textbook. Topics include special relativity, in the formalism of Minkowski's four-dimensional space-time, the principle of equivalence, Riemannian geometry and tensor analysis,Einstein field equation, as well as many modern cosmological subjects, from primordial inflation and cosmic microwave anisotropy to the dark energy that propels an accelerating universe.The author presents the subject with an emphasis on physical examples and simple applications without the full tensor apparatus. The reader first learns how to describe curved spacetime. At this mathematically more accessible level, the reader can already study the many interesting phenomena such asgravitational lensing, precession of Mercury's perihelion, black holes, and cosmology. The full tensor formulation is presented later, when the Einstein equation is solved for a few symmetric cases. Many modern topics in cosmology are discussed in this book: from inflation, cosmic microwaveanisotropy to the "dark energy" that propels an accelerating universe.Mathematical accessibility, together with the various pedagogical devices (e.g., worked-out solutions of chapter-end problems), make it practical for interested readers to use the book to study general relativity and cosmology on their own.

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Einstein's general theory of relativity is introduced in this advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate level textbook. Topics include special relativity, in the formalism of Minkowski's four-dimensional space-time, the principle of equivalence, Riemannian geometry and tensor analysis,Einstein field equation, as well as many modern...

Ta-Pei Cheng is currently Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Missouri - St. Louis. He took his Ph.D. at Rockefeller University in 1969, followed by post-doctoral study at Rockefeller University and at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton). He has been on the faculty of University of Missouri - St. Louis from 19...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pagesPublished:December 5, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199573646

ISBN - 13:9780199573646

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Table of Contents

I: Preliminaries1. Introduction and Overview2. Special relativity: the basicsII: Relativity - Metric Description of Spacetime3. Special relativity: the geometric formulation4. The principle of equivalence5. Metric description of a curved space6. GR as a geometric theory of gravity - I7. Spherically symmetric spacetime - GR tests8. Black holesIII: Cosmology9. The homogeneous and isotropic universe10. The expanding universe and thermal relics11. Inflation and the accelerating universeIV: Relativity - Full Tensor Formulation12. Tensors in special relativity13. Tensors in general relativity14. GR as a geometric theory of gravity - II15. Linearized theory and gravitational waves

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition: "This is a great time to have published a fresh new undergraduate text on relativity and cosmology...this is an excellent textbook which this reviewer would rate as the text of choice for a course on relativity and cosmology aimed at physics and astronomyundergraduates." --American Journal of Physics