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Special Relativity

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  • 39 b/w illus. 2 tables 144 exercises
  • Page extent: 388 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.963 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 530.11
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: QC173.65 .S39 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Special relativity (Physics)

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521812603 | ISBN-10: 0521812607)

This book provides a thorough introduction to Einstein's special theory of relativity, suitable for anyone with a minimum of one year's university physics with calculus. It is divided into fundamental and advanced topics. The first section starts by recalling the Pythagorean rule and its relation to the geometry of space, then covers every aspect of special relativity, including the history. The second section covers the impact of relativity in quantum theory, with an introduction to relativistic quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. It also goes over the group theory of the Lorentz group, a simple introduction to supersymmetry, and ends with cutting-edge topics such as general relativity, the standard model of elementary particles and its extensions, superstring theory, and a survey of important unsolved problems. Each chapter comes with a set of exercises. The book is accompanied by a CD-ROM illustrating, through interactive animation, classic problems in relativity involving motion.

• Treats advanced topics in relativity such as particle physics, supersymmetry, string theory and causality at a level suitable for undergraduates • A fully up-to-date treatment of special relativity in any number of spacetime dimensions • A CD accompanies the book that illustrates problems involving relative motion using interactive animations


Preface; Part I. Fundamentals: 1. From Pythagoras to spacetime geometry; 2. Light surprises everyone; 3. Elements of spacetime geometry; 4. Mechanics in spacetime; 5. Spacetime physics of fields; 6. Causality and relativity; Part II. Advanced Topics: 7. When quantum mechanics and relativity collide; 8. Group theory and relativity; 9. Supersymmetry and superspace; 10. Looking onward; Appendix 1. Where do equations of motion come from?; Appendix 2. Basic group theory; Appendix 3. Lie groups and Lie algebras; Appendix 4. The structure of super Lie algebras; References; Index.


'This well-written book will be extremely helpful for physics students who wish to go beyond what is most commonly taught and to delve more deeply into special relativity, for its own sake or as a starting point for understanding general relativity and gravitation. The authors treat many modern topics in addition to the classical material.' Professor Edward Witten, rinceton Institute for Advanced Study

'Patricia and John Schwarz have created an elegant book that uses special relativity to organize a sophisticated discussion of Maxwell theory, differential geometry, symmetry, and field dynamics. This book will reveal to the student the powerful tools that enhance our comprehension of physical theories.' Professor Barton Zwiebach, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

' … the book is well structured and organized, each treatment of a particular topic flowing nicely into the next … this is an ideal book for anyone wishing to obtain a good grounding in special relativity …'. Mathematics Today

'What is particularly commendable is the hands-on exercises in the earlier chapters that try to instil an intuitive feeling for the difficult concepts. … This book is ambitious in its scope to introduce concepts from differential geometry to a wide audience including second year undergraduates. … The book is particularly readable and anyone keen on being introduced to the concepts that have been influenced by special relativity will find this valuable.' Contemporary Physics

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