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A Most Incomprehensible Thing


This is a clearly written well written and reference book aiming to render the key concepts of the ‘most incomprehensible thing’ within the grasp of the interest lay person. Each chapter is introduced  by a quote from a relevant historical figure There are useful texts. There is a lot of time committed to increasing familiarity and ‘comfort’ with the special notation and symbolic manipulation.  This starts from algebra, claculus and progresses to tensors and covariant derivatives and connections (Christoffel symbols). There is discussion of parallel transport and the relation to curvature in spacetime. There are no detailed derivations or proofs but there are conceptual dotted lines and pointers  as well as helpful diagrams, such as spacetime embedding of the external Schwarzschild solution.  The testable consequences of the general theory are emphasized and discussed: gravitational redshift, predicting the precession of Mercuries orbit, gravitational lensing.

I wish I had the time to dive into this…perhaps I will.



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