In this short book, renowned theoretical physicist and author Carlo Rovelli gives a straightforward introduction to Einstein's General Relativity, our current theory of gravitation. Focusing on conceptual clarity, he derives all the basic results in the simplest way, taking care to explain the physical, philosophical and mathematical ideas at the heart of "the most beautiful of all scientific theories". Some of the main applications of General Relativity are also explored, for example, black holes, gravitational waves and cosmology, and the book concludes with a brief introduction to quantum gravity. Written by an author well known for the clarity of his presentation of scientific ideas, this concise book will appeal to university students looking to improve their understanding of the principal concepts, as well as science-literate readers who are curious about the real theory of General Relativity, at a level beyond a popular science treatment.
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Carlo Rovelli is Director of the Quantum Gravity group at the Centre de Physique Theorique of Aix-Marseille University; he also holds positions at the University of Western Ontario and the Perimeter Institute in Canada. Among his academic contributions in theoretical physics, he is best known as one of the formulators of Loop Quantum Gravity. He has written two monographs for Cambridge University Press, Quantum Gravity (2004) and (with Francesca Vidotto) Covariant Loop Quantum Gravity (2014). He is also the author of several international bestsellers in popular science such as Seven Brief Lessons on Physics (2016) and The Order of Time (2019).
What is General Relativity? Part I. Bases: 1. Physics: a field theory for gravity; 2. Philosophy: what are space and time? 3. Mathematics: curved space; Part II. The Theory: 4. Basic equations; 5. Action; 6. Symmetries and interpretation; Part III. Applications: 7. Newtonian limit; 8. Gravitational waves; 9. Cosmology; 10. The field of a mass; 11. Black holes; 12. Elements of quantum gravity; Index.
'General relativity is the most beautiful physical theory we have, and plays an increasingly central role in modern physics. Carlo Rovelli's introduction is both concise and comprehensive, written by a master of exposition as well as of the material. I envy anyone encountering these ideas for the first time.' Sean M. Carroll, Caltech; author of Spacetime and Geometry 'This book addresses general relativity at a more sophisticated level than in a popular-level account, emphasizing conceptual understanding and results over the mathematical details of a standard textbook. Most impressive is the author's ability to distil important concepts into pithy statements illustrating deep physical insight. Rovelli's concise book provides a solid grounding in the conceptual framework of general relativity as a starting point.' Mike Guidry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; author of Modern General Relativity
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