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General Theory of Relativity : Physics Notes - Paul A. M. Dirac

General Theory of Relativity

Physics Notes


Published: 1st January 1996
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Einstein's general theory of relativity requires a curved space for the description of the physical world.

If one wishes to go beyond superficial discussions of the physical relations involved, one needs to set up precise equations for handling curved space. The well-established mathematical technique that accomplishes this is clearly described in this classic book by Nobel Laureate P.A.M. Dirac. Based on a series of lectures given by Dirac at Florida State University, and intended for the advanced undergraduate, General Theory of Relativity comprises thirty-five compact chapters that take the reader point-by-point through the necessary steps for understanding general relativity.

About the Author

Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac OM FRS was an English theoretical physicist who made fundamental contributions to the early development of both quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics.


Just an expensive "Cheat Sheet" for General Relativity


This is little more than a list of equations under title headings without any discussion or effort to build any intuition. If you are thinking of purchasing this hoping for an insightful discussion of the General Relativity theory you won't get anything like that from *this* Dirac book. This book has as much of Dirac's own typically lucid thinking in it as any other book which also isn't really by P.A.M. Dirac. i.e., *none at all*. This is NOT a useful book though it is very thin and slight so it might be useful in preventing drafts from getting under very narrow doorways.



General Theory of Relativity

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"Seasoned physicists will appreciate the book as an elegant, well-organized introduction to the basic mathematics and physics of curved space."--Physics Today "Dirac was a man of few words, and this little book-with 35 sections spanning 69 pages-exhibits the concise, direct style that was his trademark. Seasoned physicists will appreciate the book as an elegant, well-organized introduction to the basic mathematics and physics of curved space."--R. Corby Hovis, Physics Today

Special Relativityp. 1
Oblique Axesp. 3
Curvilinear Coordinatesp. 5
Nontensorsp. 8
Curved Spacep. 9
Parallel Displacementp. 10
Christoffel Symbolsp. 12
Geodesicsp. 14
The Stationary Property of Geodesicsp. 16
Covariant Differentiationp. 17
The Curvature Tensorp. 20
The Condition for Flat Spacep. 22
The Bianchi Relationsp. 23
The Ricci Tensorp. 24
Einstein's Law of Gravitationp. 25
The Newtonian Approximationp. 26
The Gravitational Red Shiftp. 29
The Schwarzchild Solutionp. 30
Black Holesp. 32
Tensor Densitiesp. 36
Gauss and Stokes Theoremsp. 38
Harmonic Coordinatesp. 40
The Electromagnetic Fieldp. 41
Modification of the Einstein Equations by the Presence of Matterp. 43
The Material Energy Tensorp. 45
The Gravitational Action Principlep. 48
The Action for a Continuous Distribution of Matterp. 50
The Action for the Electromagnetic Fieldp. 54
The Action for Charged Matterp. 55
The Comprehensive Action Principlep. 58
The Pseudo-Energy Tensor of the Gravitational Fieldp. 61
Explicit Expression for the Pseudo-Tensorp. 63
Gravitational Wavesp. 64
The Polarization of Gravitational Wavesp. 66
The Cosmological Termp. 68
Indexp. 71
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691011462
ISBN-10: 069101146X
Series: Physics Notes
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 80
Published: 1st January 1996
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.8  x 0.5
Weight (kg): 0.14