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Relativity For Dumbies


Devin Of Byzantium
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Hey,

 

I'm completely new to the concept of relativity and I'm want to teach myself it as it is necessary to advance further into what I want to learn in the near future. I know the basic idea of what it is but I'd appreciate if someone could give me a more thorough top to bottom of what [ the theory of ] relativity is. Examples of it would be very much appreciated, and even better would be if you could suggest ways that I can practice it.

 

Feel free to use advanced vocabulary in your descriptions as I'll need to learn them anyways and will most likely be googling them and taking notes about them so fear not for my young mind.

 

Thanks!

 

-Devin of Byzantium

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A good introduction to general relativity are the lecture notes of Carroll ( a quick google and you will find them). He also treats some aspects of special relativity using the correct geometric framework.

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Feel free to use advanced vocabulary in your descriptions as I'll need to learn them anyways and will most likely be googling them and taking notes about them so fear not for my young mind.

 

By relativity you mean special relativity or general relativity?

 

Special relativity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity

It's widely used in high energy/particle physics.

 

General relativity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_relativity

You won't find sign of it in high energy/particle physics.

 

Also you might read about relativity of simultaneity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativity_of_simultaneity

 

Lorentz transformations:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentz_transformation

 

Time dilation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation

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>:D byzant etc

I'm completely new to the concept of relativity.......................

 

I would very seriously think about this before proceeding.

Relativity is much more reliant on mathematics than your other interest, Quantum Mechanics, and much harder to make 'everyday' without the necessary grounding in ordinary mechanics.

 

So can you say that you know enough about ordinary mechanics to appreciate relativity?

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I'm completely new to the concept of relativity and I'm want to teach myself it as it is necessary to advance further into what I want to learn in the near future. I know the basic idea of what it is but I'd appreciate if someone could give me a more thorough top to bottom of what [ the theory of ] relativity is. Examples of it would be very much appreciated, and even better would be if you could suggest ways that I can practice it.

 

A good way to start would be Feyman's lectures, Volume I if you haven't already tried that. Relativity starts from Chapter 15. The best thing about this book is how Feynman never omits steps in mathematical derivations and thus it's really easy to follow even if you're not very math-savvy like myself.

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