Gravity from the Ground Up: An Introductory Guide to Gravity and General Relativity

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This book provides an accessible introduction to astronomy and general relativity, aiming to explain the Universe, not just to describe it. Written by an expert in relativity who is known for his clearly-written advanced textbooks, the treatment uses only high-school level mathematics, supplemented by optional computer programs, to explain the laws of physics governing gravity from Galileo and Newton to Einstein.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...the text is...inviting, with exercises that have real-world application, such as exploring the energy of photons that cause sunburn." Stuart J. Goldman, Sky & Telescope

"Delightfully throrough yet easy to read." American Scientist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521455060
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 488
  • Sales rank: 1,529,657
  • Product dimensions: 7.99 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernard Schutz has done research and teaching in general relativity and especially its applications in astronomy since 1970. He is the author of more than 200 publications, including Geometrical Methods of Mathematical Physics and A First Course in General Relativity (both published by Cambridge University Press). Schutz currently specialises in gravitational wave research, studying the theory of potential sources and designing new methods for analysing the data from current and planned detectors. He is a member of most of the current large-scale gravitational wave projects: GEO600 (of which he is a PI), the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and LISA. Schutz is a Director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, also known as the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), in Potsdam, Germany. He holds a part-time chair in Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University, Wales, as well as honorary professorships at Potsdam and Hanover universities in Germany. Educated in the USA, he taught physics and astronomy for twenty years at Cardiff before moving to Germany in 1995 to the newly-founded AEI. In 1998 he founded the open-access online journal Living Reviews in Relativity. The Living Reviews family now includes six journals. In 2006 he was awarded the Amaldi Gold Medal of the Italian Society for Gravitation (SIGRAV), and in 2011 he received an honorary DSc from the University of Glasgow. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a member of the Learned Society of Wales, the German Academy of Natural Sciences Leopoldina and the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences, Uppsala.

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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Gravity on Earth: the inescapable force; 2. And then came Newton: gravity takes center stage; 3. Satellites: what goes up doesn't always come down; 4. The Solar System: a triumph for Newtonian gravity; 5. Tides and tidal forces: the real signature of gravity; 6. Interplanetary travel: the cosmic roller-coaster; 7. Atmospheres: keeping planets covered; 8. Gravity in the Sun: keeping the heat on; 9. Reaching for the stars: the emptiness of outer space; 10. The colors of stars: why they are black (bodies); 11. Stars at work: factories for the Universe; 12. Birth to death: the life cycle of the stars; 13. Binary stars: tidal forces on a huge scale; 14. Galaxies: atoms in the Universe; 15. Physics near the speed of light: Einstein stands on Galileo's shoulders; 16. Relating to Einstein: logic and experiment in relativity; 17. Spacetime geometry: finding out what is not relative; 18. Einstein's gravity: the curvature of spacetime in the Solar System; 19. Einstein's recipe: fashioning the geometry of gravity; 20. Neutron stars: laboratories of strong gravity; 21. Black holes: gravity's one-way street; 22. Gravitational waves: gravity speaks; 23. Gravitational lenses: bringing the Universe into focus; 24. Cosmology: the study of everything; 25. Big Bang: the seed from which we grew; 26. Einstein's Universe: the geometry of cosmology; 27. Ask the Universe: cosmic questions at the frontiers of gravity; Appendix A. Useful constants: values used in this book; Appendix B. Background: what you need to know before you start.

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