Special Relativity: An Introduction with 200 Problems and Solutions

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9783642038365: Special Relativity: An Introduction with 200 Problems and Solutions

Book by Tsamparlis Michael

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The theory of Special Relativity, although a century old, it is still a theory which has yet a long way to go. Special Relativity is the ground on which Particle Physics and General Relativity are based and constitutes an everyday laboratory practice. It is therefore important that the new physicist will understand it properly and deeply, while at the same time will be able to use it effectively as a working tool.

The first part of this book develops the necessary mathematics with emphasis on tensor analysis and differential geometry on the flat Minkowski space, and contains useful material that can serve as a quick reference tool as well.

It introduces the student into tensor analysis and the mathematical formalism required to manipulate Minkowski space-time. The reader will appreciate the geometric intuition incorporated into the standard algebraic index formalism and later on, the fact that the mathematics introduced is an adequate background for a smooth entrance into General Relativity, Astrophysics and Theoretical Physics.

The second part of this book begins with the conceptual foundations of the theory and in the later chapters applies the mathematics of the first part to the study of a variety of important physical problems including electromagnetism. The approach is fully covariant with many worked out examples. It presents the relativistic collisions in a new geometric way and prepares the student for the next steps into Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity.

This book develops the conceptual foundations of Special Relativity and couples the mathematics with the physical considerations and applications. There is an interplay between mathematical ideas and physical principles and arguments, each subject preserving its own individuality whereas at the same time creating a consolidated unit. Emphasis is given to the reasoning which elucidates the structure of the theory.

Studying the contents of this book will make the reader appreciate Special Relativity both as a conceptual theory of Space-Time Physics and as a working tool in the laboratory. Both aspects are required in order to enter successfully the more advanced areas of Quantum Mechanics, Particle Physics and General Relativity required at the later stages of the studies.

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Writing a new book on the classic subject of Special Relativity, on which numerous important physicists have contributed and many books have already been written, can be like adding another epicycle to the Ptolemaic cosmology. Furthermore, it is our belief that if a book has no new elements, but simply repeats what is written in the existing literature, perhaps with a different style, then this is not enough to justify its publication. However, after having spent a number of years, both in class and research with relativity, I have come to the conclusion that there exists a place for a new book. Since it appears that somewhere along the way, mathem- ics may have obscured and prevailed to the degree that we tend to teach relativity (and I believe, theoretical physics) simply using "heavier" mathematics without the inspiration and the mastery of the classic physicists of the last century. Moreover current trends encourage the application of techniques in producing quick results and not tedious conceptual approaches resulting in long-lasting reasoning. On the other hand, physics cannot be done a ´ la carte stripped from philosophy, or, to put it in a simple but dramatic context A building is not an accumulation of stones! As a result of the above, a major aim in the writing of this book has been the distinction between the mathematics of Minkowski space and the physics of r- ativity.

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Michael Tsamparlis
Verlag: Springer-Verlag Gmbh Mai 2010 (2010)
ISBN 10: 3642038360 ISBN 13: 9783642038365
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Buchbeschreibung Springer-Verlag Gmbh Mai 2010, 2010. Buch. Buchzustand: Neu. 241x161x43 mm. Neuware - Writing a new book on the classic subject of Special Relativity, on which numerous important physicists have contributed and many books have already been written, can be like adding another epicycle to the Ptolemaic cosmology. Furthermore, it is our belief that if a book has no new elements, but simply repeats what is written in the existing literature, perhaps with a different style, then this is not enough to justify its publication. However, after having spent a number of years, both in class and research with relativity, I have come to the conclusion that there exists a place for a new book. Since it appears that somewhere along the way, mathem- ics may have obscured and prevailed to the degree that we tend to teach relativity (and I believe, theoretical physics) simply using 'heavier' mathematics without the inspiration and the mastery of the classic physicists of the last century. Moreover current trends encourage the application of techniques in producing quick results and not tedious conceptual approaches resulting in long-lasting reasoning. On the other hand, physics cannot be done a la carte stripped from philosophy, or, to put it in a simple but dramatic context A building is not an accumulation of stones! As a result of the above, a major aim in the writing of this book has been the distinction between the mathematics of Minkowski space and the physics of r- ativity. 595 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9783642038365

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