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Getting started general relativity

I am an engineer who loves to read science fiction books especially when there's more science than fiction but usually I see that I lack the knowledge behind many of the relativity concepts in the novels. I've always felt curiosity in relativity so I decided that it was the time to buy an introductory book. I went to amazon and checked that there are dozens of "Introduction to general relativity" books in there. So here's my question: What book would you recommend to someone not matematician nor physicist but with (some) mathematical background as an introduction to relativity?


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marked as duplicate by David Z Sep 22 '11 at 17:16

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The answer to the question depends largely on various factors, therefore there is no point to list all books I know of. A couple books, however, stand out for an "informed" laymen. One by George Ellis and Ruth Williams, and another by Bob Geroch.



Both are elementary, but very lucid and didn't sacrifice sophistication of physical principles behind. I would, indeed, recommend both to any serious students of relativity.

Another good source [will be better soon] is relativity site of ComPadre, The spacetime Emporium.


You may find many online sources there.


There is an awesome introduction to relativity, which puts the emphasis on understanding (including different paradoxes) while reducing the mathematical tools only to the necessary ones:

(If, for some reason, you do not understand Polish I recommend to keep bugging the author to translate it :).)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ -1 it's in Polish $\endgroup$ – Larry Harson Sep 27 '13 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ @LarryHarson I am trying to push the author into translating it into English. $\endgroup$ – Piotr Migdal Sep 27 '13 at 17:21

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