Relativity Made Relatively Easy presents an extensive study of Special Relativity and a gentle (but exact) introduction to General Relativity for undergraduate students of physics. Assuming almost no prior knowledge, it allows the student to handle all the Relativity needed for a university course, with explanations as simple, thorough, and engaging as possible.
The aim is to make manageable what would otherwise be regarded as hard; to make derivations as simple as possible and physical ideas as transparent as possible. Lorentz invariants and four-vectors are introduced early on, but tensor notation is postponed until needed. In addition to the more basic ideas such as Doppler effect and collisions, the text introduces more advanced material such as radiation from accelerating charges, Lagrangian methods, the stress-energy tensor, and introductory General Relativity, including Gaussian curvature, the Schwarzschild solution, gravitational lensing, and black holes. A second volume will extend the treatment of General Relativity somewhat more thoroughly, and also introduce Cosmology, spinors, and some field theory.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Weight: 1116 g
Dimensions: 247 x 195 x 27 mm
As Albert Einstein once emphasized, one should make things as simple as possible, but not simpler. Andrew Steane follows the master's recommendation and presents a relatively easy tour through the wonderful worlds of special and general relativity. He guides the reader patiently and pedagogically through the fundamental concepts as well as their main applications. This book is of great value for both students and lecturers.
Steane's book provides a physically oriented introduction to Special Relativity and its consequences, which does not compromise rigour in its exposition. I do not know of any other textbook on the topic covering such a breadth of topics at a detailed, but at the same time accessible and insightful level. In particular, the discussion of electromagnetism in the context of Special Relativity -where Relativity really comes into life- is excellent. The book contains an interesting and original selection of exercises which will help the dedicated reader to gain mastery in the details of the theory.
Offering a uniquely broad and thorough coverage of one of the standard tools of modern physics, Andrew Steane's Relativity Made Relatively Easy is an approachable and comprehensive coverage of Einstein's most famous contribution to science. It is sure to become a favorite resource for students and researchers alike.
The book has truly the potential to become a pivotal part of scholarship in physics. This lucid and thoughtful approach to taking the reader pedagogically through how Einsteinian relativity works, and how it supersedes the Newtonian construction with respect to explaining the basic principles of physical law, is comprehensive, thorough, innovative, challenging, and in many cases original. Steane's approach fills a gap in what in many university undergraduate courses has become a topic considered rather too briefly and in a rather too stereotyped manner, and which thereby has always denied physics graduates of the deeper insight into how Lorentz invariance is at the root of almost everything.