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Serves as a textbook at intermediate level between college-level introductions and more advanced textbooks requiring many prerequisites
Includes topics that are not usually included in standard textbooks on special relativity such as, for example, the theory of measurement in Minkowski spacetime
Has a chapter devoted to modern applications of Special Relativity, such as GPS, PET scanners, and other medical instruments
Contains a section with numerous exercises to practice the theory in each chapter
This book offers an essential bridge between college-level introductions and advanced graduate-level books on special relativity. It begins at an elementary level, presenting and discussing the basic concepts normally covered in college-level works, including the Lorentz transformation. Subsequent chapters introduce the four-dimensional worldview implied by the Lorentz transformations, mixing time and space coordinates, before continuing on to the formalism of tensors, a topic usually avoided in lower-level courses. The book’s second half addresses a number of essential points, including the concept of causality; the equivalence between mass and energy, including applications; relativistic optics; and measurements and matter in Minkowski spacetime. The closing chapters focus on the energy-momentum tensor of a continuous distribution of mass-energy and its covariant conservation; angular momentum; a discussion of the scalar field of perfect fluids and the Maxwell field; and general coordinates. Every chapter is supplemented by a section with numerous exercises, allowing readers to practice the theory. These exercises constitute an essential part of the textbook, and the solutions to approximately half of them are provided in the appendix.
Content Level »Lower undergraduate
Keywords »Covariant Tensors - Doppler Effect - Global Positioning System - Levi-Civita Symbol - Lorentz Transformation - Minkowski Spacetime - Perfect Fluids - Positron Emission Tomography - Relativistic Optics - Spacetime Diagrams - Undergraduate Textbook Special Relativity