I. SPACE AND TIME IN NEWTONIAN PHYSICS AND SPECIAL RELATIVITY. 1. Gravitational Physics. 2. Geometry as Physics. 3. Newtonian Physics. 4. Principles of Special Relativity. 5. Special Relativistic Mechanics. II. THE CURVED SPACETIMES OF GENERAL RELATIVITY. 6. Gravity as Geometry. 7. Description of Curved Spacetime. 8. Geodesics. 9. The Geometry Outside a Spherical Star. 10. Solar System Tests. 11. Relativistic Gravity in Action. 12. Black Holes. 13. Astrophysical Black Holes. 14. A Little Rotation. 15. Rotating Black Holes. 16. Gravitational Waves. 17. The Universe Observed. 18. Cosmological Models. 19. Which Universe and Why? III. THE EINSTEIN EQUATION. 20. A Little More Math. 21. Curvature and the Einstein Equation. 22. The Source of Curvature. 23. Gravitational Wave Emission. 24. Relativistic Stars. APPENDICES. A. Useful Constants. B. Units. C. Curvature Quantities. D. Curvature Program. E. Pedagogical Strategy. Bibliography. Symbols and Abbreviations. Index.
Einstein's theory of general relativity is a cornerstone of modern physics. It also touches upon a wealth of topics that students find fascinating—black holes, warped spacetime, gravitational waves, and cosmology. Until now, it has not been included in the curriculum of many undergraduate physics courses because the required math is too advanced. The aim of this ground-breaking new text is to bring general relativity into the undergraduate curriculum and make this fundamental theory accessible to virtually all physics majors. Using a "physics first" approach to the subject, renowned relativist James Hartle provides a fluent and accessible introduction that uses a minimum of new mathematics and illustrates a wealth of applications. Recognizing that there is typically not enough time in a short introductory course for the traditional, math-first, approach to the subject, Hartle presents a physics-first introduction to general relativity that begins with the essential physical applications.