This advanced undergraduate text introduces Einstein's general theory of relativity.
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The topics covered include geometric formulation of special relativity, the principle of equivalence, Einstein's field equation and its spherical-symmetric solution, as well as cosmology. An emphasis is placed on physical examples and simple applications without the full tensor apparatus.
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It begins by examining the physics of the equivalence principle and looks at how it inspired Einstein's idea of curved spacetime as the gravitational field. At a more mathematically accessible level, it provides a metric description of a warped space, allowing the reader to study many interesting phenomena such as gravitational time dilation, GPS operation, light deflection, precession of Mercury's perihelion, and black holes.
Numerous modern topics in cosmology are discussed from primordial inflation and cosmic microwave background to the dark energy that propels an accelerating universe. Building on Cheng's previous book, 'Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology: A Basic Introduction', this text has been tailored to the advanced student.
It concentrates on the core elements of the subject making it suitable for a one-semester course at the undergraduate level. Many regard Albert Einstein as the greatest physicist since Newton.
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What exactly did he do that is so important in physics? We provide an introduction to his physics at a level accessible to an undergraduate physics student.
All equations are worked out in detail from the beginning. Einstein's doctoral thesis and his Brownian motion paper were decisive contributions to our understanding of matter as composed of molecules and atoms.
Einstein was one of the founding fathers of quantum theory: his photon proposal through the investigation of blackbody radiation, his quantum theory of photoelectric effect and specific heat, his calculation of radiation fluctuation giving the first statement of wave-particle duality, his introduction of probability in the description of quantum radiative transitions, and finally the quantum statistics and Bose-Einstein condensation.
Einstein's geometric theory of gravity, general relativity, extends Newton's theory to time-dependent and strong gravitational fields. It laid the ground work for the study of black holes and cosmology. This is a physics book with material presented in the historical context. We do not stop at Einstein's discovery, but carry the discussion onto some of the later advances: Bell's theorem, quantum field theory, gauge theories and Kaluza-Klein unification in a spacetime with an extra spatial dimension.
Accessibility of the material to a modern-day reader is the goal of our presentation.
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