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By
Thomas A Moore

- Little Secrets
- The Book of Lost Friends
- Chosen Ones
- The New Husband
- The Missing Sister
- The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
- He Started It
- The Sweeney Sisters
- The Book of Longings
- Chosen Ones
- If I Had Your Face
- A Bad Day for Sunshine
- The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
- Conjure Women
- Crave

Theme: Avant by
Kaira

For decades, I was a professor doing ultrafast laser spectroscopy and teaching courses in quantum mechanics, molecular spectroscopy, and thermodynamics After retiring several years ago, I started to explore unfamiliar areas in physics Fortunately, the last few years have seen the emergence of several entry level texts from highly talented educators Griffiths Introduction to Elementary Particles, Zwiebach s A First Course in String Theory, Carroll and Ostlie s An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, Ryden s An Introduction to Cosmology, Aitchison and Hey s Gauge Theories in Particle Physics, and Taylor and Wheeler s Spacetime Physics All of these have given me many hours of enjoyment, working through problems and gaining new insights.In my view, Thomas Moore s A General Relativity Workbook ranks right up there with the best of them Ryden s cosmology book won the inaugural Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award of the American Astronomical Society, and I feel that Moore s new book is highly deserving of similar recognition I am well aware that Moore has received checkered reviews from readers, and I will address the reasons for this at the end of this review.Moore s format is admittedly unorthodox, patterned somewhat after Taylor and Wheeler Each of the 39 chapters typically opens with 4 pages of text These pages of text tend to resemble abstracts rather than standard text in a typical physics book, and they are not generally understandable upon first reading Comprehension only begins to emerge in the group of Exercises that follows the text in each chapter The derivations of key equations in the text are dissected in these Exercises, grouped together in modules called Boxes The latter term is reminiscent of similarly termed sections in Misner, Thorne and Wheeler s Gravity, a 1200 page dreadnought jocularly called the Telephone Book Moore s boxes are an invaluable component their careful, step by step guidance to the standard equations in GR saves countless student hours of replicating results that are given without proof in advanced texts Physical insight finally begins to crystallize in the symbiosis of going back and forth between the text and the Exercises The Boxes allot blank spaces for working these Exercises, and the pages are perforated, presumably so that people can hand in their solutions to the Exercises I did not write my solutions in these Boxes many of those spaces would have been fairly cramped, and their printed content which explains how to do the Exercises is far too valuable to be thrown away Instead, I wrote my solutions to the Exercises and Problems separately in a notebook, accumulating some 600 handwritten pages by the end of Chapter 39 Each chapter ends with several Homework Problems Most of these are beautifully crafted some are adaptations of problems from other GR texts, but redesigned to ensure logical connectivity to the body of the text and Boxes Few of these Problems are superfluous All of them are geared to establishing an important physical point Many of the Problem statements are augmented with discussions of the physical significance of the results The Problems are tightly organized in an overarching way for example, the use of spacetime diagrams that Moore encourages in several of the Problems in Chapter 2 facilitate understanding the Kruskal Szekeres diagrams in Chapter 15 The correct solutions to many of the difficult problems in earlier chapters have a way of turning up in later chapters with patience, students will eventually learn those solutions as they work toward the end of the book For example, the electromagnetic stress energy tensor requested in Problem P7.8 is eventually revealed in the statement of Problem P23.4 This feature enhances the book s usefulness in self study, but it will not be discovered if a student turns away in frustration early on.Why do I regard this book so highly First, Moore has a gift for language that few other scientists have he has a keen sense for what it feels like not to understand GR or its mathematical foundations in tensor calculus His discussions have a strongly physical rather than mathematical bent His description of the physical origin of the Mercury s precession of the perihelion is beautifully done, as is his account of the Local Flatness Theorem in Box 17.7 His historical narratives like Einstein s encounters with the cosmological constant are superb, and the book is liberally sprinkled with references to original sources for things like the Reissner Nordholm solution for a charged black hole As one works out solutions to many of the advanced Problems, physical insights will often jump out in technicolor An example of the latter happened when I obtained the weak field gravitomagnetic Fij matrix around a rotating star in Problem P22.5 the resulting expressions formally resemble those for the familiar field around a magnetic dipole Appreciating this, however, does require prior knowledge of classical EM theory The treatment of gravitational waves is particularly well done, perhaps because Moore has been personally involved in the LISA project Upon first learning about the related LIGO project in another GR text, I could not understand how the potential value of such a project justified its enormous expense I do understand it now Finally, a real test of the book s worth is whether it can provide a bridge to advanced books like Hartle s Gravity For me, Hartle as well as parts of the Telephone Book came alive only after I went through Moore In comparison to Hartle, Moore is remarkably free of typos a huge feat of proofing, given that the indices in the Christoffel coefficients and Riemann tensors are seemingly as ubiquitous as neutrinos A relatively short list of known typos is available on the workbook s website.Why, then, are the reviews of Moore so disparate The most critical comments stem from the unavailability of solutions to the Exercises and or Problems Moore does require a good working knowledge in algebra, trigonometry, calculus, some familiarity with ordinary differential equations and linear algebra, and a solid feel for the elementary physics Newtonian mechanics and classical electromagnetism covered in the first 2 3 years of undergraduate study Some students who emerge from these courses will have had enough curiosity and initiative to develop these tools some will not Moore presupposes very little beyond this elementary background he develops the required tensor algebra and calculus absolute gradients etc entirely from scratch In my dealings with advanced undergraduate and first year graduate students over the years, I encountered many who would have had little difficulty with most of Moore s Problems For a well prepared student, I feel Moore is a superb text for self study Its workbook format may have misled some readers into expecting an Idiots Guide to GR, which of course it is not.

I find this to be a readable and well represented book that lacks, in my humble opinion, in a very major area answers to exercises I tend to agree with reviewers who say that this is not for self study I bought this book off and started very enthusiastically thinking this is my self study short cut to Relativity only to find out that none of the solutions OR even answers to the exercises are available Hence if one is using it for self study, one has no way of knowing if what has been thought to be understood is actually understood That, I find a bit demotivating as I cannot build up my confidence in the subject matter I since then moved on to D Inverno s book, Foster the solutions of the book cannot come from Dr Moore contrary to what has been stated in the preface, bottom of page xix but has to come from the publishers A pity really The book could have been a good guidebook for self study only if any hints, even the answers to the problems would be provided Without any way of validating the knowledge I am trying to absorb, I find the book is not ideal for self study, only guided course work.

Getting started in GenRel is not easy I still believe that MTW is the gold standard in the field However, in the absence of an exceptionally strong background in physics and mathematics, going directly to MTW is not a realistic goal Undergraduates need a solid foundation before tackling a grad course, and those pursuing self study need the same This text is the answer It provides an exceptional base of information in GenRel that would serve an undergrad or someone pursuing self study exceptionally well This text leads the learner through an entire basic course in GenRel, each chapter logically developing each topic There is a plethora of problems to solve that are presented in a clear and logical manner Solving the problems is the only way to learn GenRel This book is the best thing going for people starting out to learn GenRel The workbook concept is a great idea I think this is the only GenRel workbook out there and Moore carries it out perfectly The only thing missing is a Solutions Manual for the person engaged in self study.

If you are zero order in general relativity and would like to know about this topic in deep, this book is what you want for sure Moreover, whether you re willing to come along in this journey of different formalism of tensor calculus as well as general relativity take it on and you won t be regretted Enjoy it because I ve already been enjoying it

Some schools may have adopted this book, but, I think the book would have been the most valuable addition to the library of a self learner However, that possibility does not exist because of the unavailability of a solution manual Although, otherwise it seems to be a great book, it is almost useless for people like me who does not have a teacher available to be guided in the process of learning I purchased this book for self study and that was a huge mistake Physics is learned by solving problems and solving them the correct way This workbook based manual could have been a great aid to learn GR for a person who is self studying GR but unfortunately that is not the case Considering how many reviewers are pointing it out, Dr Moore and the publishers should really take a look at this issue Until then, I cannot recommend this book.