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Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology

A Basic Introduction

Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology by Ta-Pei Cheng
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This book is an introduction to Einstein's general theory of relativity, suitable for advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate courses. The content is structured so that interesting applications, such as gravitational lensing, black holes and cosmology, can be presented without the readers having to first learn the difficult mathematics of tensor calculus. The mathematical accessibility and the presentation of the book make it practical for readers to study the subject on their

own. - ;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's field equation and cosmology.

The author presents the subject from the very beginning with an emphasis on physical examples and simple applications without the full tensor apparatus. One first learns how to describe curved spacetime. At this mathematically more accessible level, the reader can already study the many interesting phenomena such as gravitational lensing, precession of Mercury's perihelion, black holes, as well as 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 and cosmic microwave anisotropy 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, gravitation and cosmology on their own. - ;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 astronomy undergraduates. American Journal of Physics, October 2005. -

Oxford University Press, UK; December 2004
355 pages; ISBN 9780191523861
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Title: Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology
Author: Ta-Pei Cheng