Read These 5 Books to Understand General Relativity From Scratch

Sunny Labh on 2022-11-22

1. Relativity: The Special and General Theory

Relativity: Special and General, by Albert Einstein. Image by author.

This book is marked as a tribute to Albert Einstein and his life’s work. This work has been inspired by the original documents from Albert Einstein and remains true to his original works. It was the decision of the scholars that they deemed it crucial that the works of Einstein on Relativity be reproduced and made available to the general public and make easily accessible to keen minds around the world.

2. A first course in General Relativity

A first course in general relativity. Image Source.

This book builds itself with the basic foundational knowledge required to understand General relativity rather than having a presumption that the reader is already familiar with the topics such as the theory of electromagnetism and fluid dynamics. The topics discussed in this book range from black holes and Pulsars to the study of the whole universe. The writer has tried to tackle the topics in such a way that it becomes easily accessible to interested readers with limited knowledge of Mathematics.

3. General Relativity

General Relativity. Image Source.

This book is well known for its versatile nature. It could be used as a textbook by graduate students as well as a foundation for reference by researchers. The book is divided into two parts where in the first section, the writer dives into the basic introduction of relativity and its topics including Basic differential geometry and Einstein’s equation. The second part is the heart of the book where he discusses a wide variety of advanced topics. Part I is more theory-based while part II is more of mathematical interpretations such as tensor calculus and curvature.

4. Gravitation

Gravitation paperback

It is one of the best books for graduate-level students as well as others with peak curiosity about Einstein’s theory of relativity. It provides insight into a general theory of relativity and meaningfully explains the physics of gravitation. This book has become a go-to means of reference for many researchers and has changed the way we think about relativity. It touches on some interesting topics such as Stars, Black holes, and Gravitational waves. Since its first publication in 1973, this book has aged like a fine wine.

5. Advanced General Relativity

Advanced general relativity

This book tries to eradicate the misconceptions from people’s minds regarding General Relativity is one of the extraordinarily difficult theories. Mathematical works in this field had been done prior by many researchers. So the author has chosen to focus primarily on the theoretical background of this topic which is done beautifully in this book.

Contributed by Rishab Karki and curated by the author.

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