A Short Course in General Relativity

  • James Foster
  • J. David Nightingale

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. James Foster, J. David Nightingale
    Pages 1-6
  3. James Foster, J. David Nightingale
    Pages 7-52
  4. James Foster, J. David Nightingale
    Pages 53-95
  5. James Foster, J. David Nightingale
    Pages 97-121
  6. James Foster, J. David Nightingale
    Pages 123-168
  7. James Foster, J. David Nightingale
    Pages 169-182
  8. James Foster, J. David Nightingale
    Pages 183-207
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 210-292

About this book


Suitable for a one-semester course in general relativity for senior undergraduates or beginning graduate students, this text clarifies the mathematical aspects of Einstein's theory of relativity without sacrificing physical understanding.

The text begins with an exposition of those aspects of tensor calculus and differential geometry needed for a proper treatment of the subject. The discussion then turns to the spacetime of general relativity and to geodesic motion. A brief consideration of the field equations is followed by a discussion of physics in the vicinity of massive objects, including an elementary treatment of black holes and rotating objects. The main text concludes with introductory chapters on gravitational radiation and cosmology.

This new third edition has been updated to take account of fresh observational evidence and experiments. It includes new sections on the Kerr solution (in Chapter 4) and cosmological speeds of recession (in Chapter 6). A more mathematical treatment of tensors and manifolds, included in the 1st edition, but omitted in the 2nd edition, has been restored in an appendix. Also included are two additional appendixes – "Special Relativity Review" and "The Chinese Connection" - and outline solutions to all exercises and problems, making it especially suitable for private study.


Cosmology Gravity Relativity Special relativity general relativity

Authors and affiliations

  • James Foster
    • 1
  • J. David Nightingale
    • 2
  1. 1.University of SussexBrightonUK
  2. 2.State University of New YorkNew PaltzUSA

Bibliographic information