The special theory of relativity is an extension of classical-mechanics that describes the motion and dynamics of objects moving at significant fractions of the speed of light.
In Einstein's original 1905 formulation, The postulates of Special Relativity are that
The Principle of Relativity is that the laws of physics are the same in every inertial reference frame.
The Speed of Light is the same in every reference frame.
In Special Relativity, the Galilean transformations are replaced with the Lorentz transformations, which form the Lorentz group.
An alternative formulation of Special Relativity is that of Minkoswski, which unifies space and time into spacetime. From the invariant squared infinitesimal spacetime interval, the Lorentz Transformations may be derived.
- Galileo and Einstein is a free ebook used as a text for a history of science course. Chapters 23 through 30 discuss special relativity in a very pedagogical manner. Chapters 21 and 22 discuss the speed-of-light and the Michaelson Morley experiment, and help put special relativity into its historical context.
- A.P. French, Special Relativity is a short book treating just special relativity. It includes historical background.
- Kleppner and Kolenkow, An Introduction to Mechanics discusses relativity in chapters 11 through 14. It begins by deriving the Lorentz transformations from mechanical considerations. It also introduces relativistic momentum, four-vectors, and invariances in relativity.
- Marion and Thorton, Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems also introduces relativity from mechanical considerations, in chapter 14. This text also discusses four-vectors, and introduces the lagrangian-formalism of special relativity.
- E. M. Purcell, Electricity and Magnetism is an introductory book in electromagnetism. Chapter 5 uses special relativity to derive the existence of magnetic-fields and the form of the Lorentz force. Appendix A gives a review of special relativity.
- J. D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics is a graduate-level book in electrodynamics. Chapter 11 gives a thorough discussion of special relativity, including methods from group-theory. Chapter 12 discusses dynamics and how the lagrangian-formalism and hamiltonian formalism interact with special relativity.