Special Relativity: From Einstein to Strings

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This thorough introduction to Einstein's special theory of relativity is suitable for anyone with a minimum of one year of undergraduate physics with calculus. The authors cover every aspect of special relativity, including the impact of special relativity in quantum theory, with an introduction to relativistic quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. They also discuss the group theory of the Lorentz group, supersymmetry, and such cutting-edge topics as general relativity, the standard model of elementary particles and its extensions, and superstring theory, giving a survey of important unsolved problems. The book is accompanied by an interactive CD-ROM illustrating classic problems in relativity involving motion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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." Edward Witten, Princeton 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." Barton Zwiebach, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521812603
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 388
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia M. Schwarz received her BA from San Francisco State University and her PhD in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology. Her research specialty is spacetime geometry in general relativity and string theory. She is an expert in multimedia and online education technology. Her award-winning multimedia-rich web site at http://superstringtheory.com is popular with the public and is widely used as an educationalresource, hosting online physics courses with teachers and students from around the world.

John H. Schwarz, the Harold Brown Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, is one of the founders of superstring theory. He coauthored a two-volume monograph 'Superstring Theory' with Michael Green and Edward Witten in 1987. He is a Mac Arthur Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has received the Dirac Medal from the International Center for Theoretical Physics and the Dannie Heineman Prize in Mathematical Physics from the American Physical Society.

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Table of Contents

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.

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