Synopses & Reviews
This book explains the theory of special and general relativity in detail, without digressions such as information on Einstein's life or the historical background. However, lengthy calculations are replaced with figures and thought experiments, the text being formulated in such a way that the reader will be able to understand the gist even if he or she cannot follow all the calculations. The first part of the book focuses on the essentials of special relativity. Explanations are provided of the famous equivalence between mass and energy and of why Einstein was able to use the theory of electrodynamics as a template for his "electrodynamics of moving bodies", simply because electric charge itself is absolute, leading to the relativity of other physical quantities. General relativity is then introduced, mainly with the help of thought experiments. Reference is made to the previously introduced special relativity and the equivalence principle and, using many figures, it is explained how space-time is bending under gravity. The climax of the book comes with the Einstein equations of gravity that describe the way in which matter bends space-time. The reader is shown how to obtain the famous Schwarzschild solution. There follows a numerically correct and yet intuitive explanation of the classic effects such as light bending or the movement of the perihelion. The book concludes by explaining the Friedmann model of the big bang and why the theory of gravity does not fit with quantum theory.
About the Author
Kurt Fischer was born in Kleve in Germany near the Dutch border. He undertook undergraduate studies in physics and mathematics at Technical University RWTH Aachen, and graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich in physics and mathematics. He then obtained a PhD in physics from Stuttgart University and performed postgraduate studies at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart and the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden. Dr. Fischer subsequently had research stays at the University of Tokyo and the Mitsubishi Research Institute in Tokyo. He is currently Professor for Mathematics and Physics at the Tokuyama College of Technology in Japan.
Table of Contents
Light, matter, and energy.- Light beams.- First law of relativity.- Measuring the speed of light.- Second law of relativity.- Faster than light?.- Theory and practice.- Mass and inertia.- Inertia and weight: A first glance.- Energy.- Mass and motion energy.- Resting-mass and motion energy.- Internal motion-energy.- Pure energy.- Inertia of pure energy.- Mass is energy is mass.- Information needs energy.- Light, time, mass, and length.- Light and time.- The gamma factor.- Whose clock is running slower?.- Light, time, and length.- Length in direction of the speed.- Length at right angles to speed.- At the same time?.- Time and mass.- Speed addition.- Light, electricity, and magnetism.- Electric charge and speed.- Electric charges and magnets.- Electric and magnetic fields.- Magnetic field from electric current.- The Faraday paradox.- No attraction without relativity.- Attraction with relativity.- Acceleration and inertia.- Rotating motion: Twin paradox 1.- Rotating motion: Not the school geometry.- Straight motion.- Proper time and inertia: Twin paradox 2.- Inertia and gravity.- Gravity is no force.- Gravity bends space-time.- Bended surface.- Bended space-time.- Measuring the bending of space-time.- Equivalence principle in action.- Time and gravity.- Proper time in bended space-time.- Moving straight in bended space-time.- Length under gravity of a perfect ball.- Gravity around a perfect ball.- Mass under gravity.- Light under gravity.- Black holes: A rst look.- Equivalence principle: summary.- How mass creates gravity.- Gravity in a lonely cloud.- Einstein equation of gravity.- Enter pressure.- Enter speed.- Enter outside masses.- Local and global space-time.- How to solve the Einstein equation of gravity.- Solving the Einstein equation of gravity.- Gravity causes law of motion.- Gravity inside a perfect ball of mass.- Flat space-time inside a ball-shaped hollow.- Gravity outside a perfect ball of mass.- Schwarzschild exact solution.- Newton law of gravity.- General Relativity in action.- Black holes.- Light bending.- Kepler laws.- Planet orbits rotate: Weak gravity 2.- Strong gravity near black holes.- Gravity waves.- Where is the gravity energy?.- Big bang of the universe.- Small ball of mass in the universe.- Large ball of mass in the universe.- Vacuum energy and gravity.- Epilogue.- Appendices.- Important numbers.- Inertia of pure energy in detail.- Relativity for small speeds.- Speed addition from growing mass.- Einstein equation of gravity in tensors.