Relativity Made Relatively Easy presents an extensive study of Special Relativity and a gentle (but exact) introduction to General Relativity for undergraduate students of physics. Assuming almost no prior knowledge, it allows the student to handle all the Relativity needed for a university course, with explanations as simple, thorough, and engaging as possible. The aim is to make manageable what would otherwise be regarded as hard; to make derivations as simple as possible and physical ideas as transparent as possible. Lorentz invariants and four-vectors are introduced early on, but tensor notation is postponed until needed. In addition to the more basic ideas such as Doppler effect and collisions, the text introduces more advanced material such as radiation from accelerating charges, Lagrangian methods, the stress-energy tensor, and introductory General Relativity, including Gaussian curvature, the Schwarzschild solution, gravitational lensing, and black holes. A second volume will extend the treatment of General Relativity somewhat more thoroughly, and also introduce Cosmology, spinors, and some field theory.
Andrew M. Steane was born in Bath, England (1965) and educated at Christ's Hospital school and Oxford University. He has been Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford since 2002 and has been a Visiting Professor at various institutes. Steane was awarded the Maxwell Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics in 2000 for his work on quantum error correction. He has given numerous public lectures and school demonstrations in physics, and is the author of "The Wonderful World of Relativity" (OUP, Oxford 2011).
PART I: THE RELATIVISTIC WORLD ; 1. Basic ideas ; 2. The Lorentz transformation ; 3. Moving light sources ; 4. Dynamics ; 5. The conservation of energy-momentum ; 6. Further kinematics ; 7. Relativity and electromagnetism ; 8. Electromagnetic radiation ; PART II: AN INTRODUCTION TO GENERAL RELATIVITY ; 9. The Principle of Equivalence ; 10. Warped spacetime ; 11. Physics from the metric ; PART III: FURTHER SPECIAL RELATIVITY ; 12. Tensors and index notation ; 13. Rediscovering electromagnetism ; 14. Lagrangian mechanics ; 15. Angular momentum ; 16. Energy density ; 17. What is spacetime?