I had just been trying to understand GR but i just cannot understand where some of the formula of field came from. Apparently all those initial formula are from Newtonian physics so please anyone could recommend me the topics and even better if there are books which consist of the derivation of the formula of the Newtonian gravitational fields which is used in the derivation of GR.

  • $\begingroup$ This should help. Gravitation is especially well-regarded. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Oct 13 '14 at 0:12
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    $\begingroup$ The question is kind of vague, e.g., we don't know what book you're trying to learn from. GR can be learned at many different levels. Hewitt's Conceptual Physics has a nice treatment with nothing but algebra. Hartle is aimed at undergraduates in physics and does not require any fancy math prerequisites. $\endgroup$ – user4552 Oct 13 '14 at 1:26
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    $\begingroup$ Also see this great summary of Einstein's 1921 account as well as Einstein's account itself "The Meaning of Relativity". I second @HDE226868 's recommendation of Misner, Thorne and Wheeler, but it's kind of expensive, so read Wikipedia and other articles first: I wouldn't buy the paperback one because I went through three copies just browsing it: it's waaaay to big for a paper spine to hold. I suspect MTW were making some kind of "black hole" or "heavy" joke in keeping everything in one volume. $\endgroup$ – Selene Routley Oct 13 '14 at 4:23
  • $\begingroup$ At my university it was customary to teach general relativity in the third year, after classical mechanics including continuum mechanics, electrodynamics, non-relativistic quantum mechanics and, of course, special relativity. At that point students are expected to understand basic concepts from classical field theory and be comfortable with index notation of vectors and matrices and Kronecker products. Even so working with higher order tensors requires some effort, and so does a basic understanding of differential geometry. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Oct 13 '14 at 4:23
  • $\begingroup$ Also @BenCrowell is being too modest to recommend his own book: you can download it from here Crowell,"Relativity" and its a great resource. Note that the defect in Newton's physics, namely instantaneous action at a distance, is the motivating beginning for GTR, and only later on, when the form of the field equations is decided on, is Newtonian gravitation used to calibrate the scaling constant in the field equations. $\endgroup$ – Selene Routley Oct 13 '14 at 4:26