General Relativity and Gravitational Waves

General Relativity and Gravitational Waves

General Relativity and Gravitational Waves

General Relativity and Gravitational Waves

Excerpt

The renewed interest in general relativity is due to several factors. For the theorist, quantization of Einstein's gravitational field offers a challenging approach to a new theory of elementary particles and amelioration of the difficulties of quantum field theory. For the experimentalist the technological advances of the past two decades make possible some new gravitation experiments and more precise ways of doing the older ones.

A book of this length on general relativity cannot be complete. I have attempted to give a fairly thorough introduction to the foundations of the theory, to the Riemannian geometry and tensor calculus ordinarily required in this field, to the conservation laws, and to the classical experiments. About a fourth of the book is mainly devoted to a treatment of the theoretical and experimental aspects of gravitational radiation. The last chapter gives a brief discussion of the deduction of the equations of motion, of unified field theories, of Friedman's solution of the cosmological problem, and of the Hamiltonian formulation of general relativity.

This tract is serving as a text for my relativity course in the Physics Department of the University of Maryland.

I wish to express appreciation to Professor John A. Wheeler for the very stimulating year I was privileged to spend with him, to Professor James Anderson in whose lectures I saw these field equations for the first time, to Professor Peter G. Bergmann for his many illuminating comments at the Stevens Institute of Technology colloquia, and to Dr. Charles Misner for his lucid remarks on a number of issues. Several sections of the book were substantially improved in consequence of discussions with a graduate . . .

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