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An Introduction to General Relativity and Cosmology
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  • Page extent: 558 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 1.25 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521856232 | ISBN-10: 052185623X)

General relativity is a cornerstone of modern physics, and is of major importance in its applications to cosmology. Plebanski and Krasinski are experts in the field and in this book they provide a thorough introduction to general relativity, guiding the reader through complete derivations of the most important results. Providing coverage from a unique viewpoint, geometrical, physical and astrophysical properties of inhomogeneous cosmological models are all systematically and clearly presented, allowing the reader to follow and verify all derivations. For advanced undergraduates and graduates in physics and astronomy, this textbook will enable students to develop expertise in the mathematical techniques necessary to study general relativity.

• A self-contained account of cosmology in general geometry • Contains exercises, with hints but no solutions • No other textbook published previously had devoted so much attention to cosmology described by exact methods of relativity • The first ever presentation in textbook form of significant papers written in the 70s and 80s


1. How the theory of relativity came into being (a brief historical sketch); Part I. Elements of Differential Geometry: 2. A short sketch of two-dimensional differential geometries; 3. Tensors, tensor densities; 4. Covariant derivatives; 5. Parallel transport and geodesic lines; 6. Curvature of a manifold: flat manifolds; 7. Riemannian geometry; 8. Symmetries of Rieman spaces, invariance of tensors; 9. Methods to calculate the curvature quickly - Cartan forms and algebraic computer programs; 10. The spatially homogeneous Bianchi-type spacetimes; 11. The Petrov classification by the spinor method; Part II. The Gravitation Theory: 12. The Einstein equations and the sources of a gravitational field; 13. The Maxwell and Einstein-Maxwell equations and the Kaluza-Klein theory; 14. Spherically symmetric gravitational field of isolated objects; 15. Relativistic hydrodynamics and thermodynamics; 16. Relativistic cosmology I: general geometry; 17. Relativistic cosmology II: the Robertson-Walker geometry; 18. Relativistic cosmology III: the Lemaître-Tolman geometry; 19. Relativistic cosmology IV: generalisations of L-T and related geometries; 20. The Kerr solution; 21. Subjects omitted in this book; References.


'In the time-honoured tradition of many books from CUP, An Introduction to General Relativity and Cosmology cannot really be described as an introduction at all. … an excellent high-level textbook that includes a number of topics that are not readily to be found elsewhere. I recommend it very highly for students who have studied General Relativity already (perhaps having read a real 'introductory' book), and who would like to gain a deeper mathematical insight into the subject. … For anyone looking for a thorough mathematical treatment of General Relativity, or for a supplement to existing books, this is highly recommended. It is not a standard text by any means, but I would be surprised if there was anyone who didn't find in it something new, interesting, and enlightening.' The Observatory

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