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Synopsis

Starting with the idea of an event and finishing with a description of the standard big-bang model of the Universe, this textbook provides a clear, concise and up-to-date introduction to the theory of general relativity, suitable for final-year undergraduate mathematics or physics students. Throughout, the emphasis is on the geometric structure of spacetime, rather than the traditional coordinate-dependent approach. Topics covered include flat spacetime (special relativity), Maxwell fields, the energy-momentum tensor, spacetime curvature and gravity, Schwarzschild and Kerr spacetimes, black holes and singularities, and cosmology. All physical assumptions are clearly spelled out and the necessary mathematics is developed along with the physics. Exercises are provided at the end of each chapter and key ideas are illustrated with worked examples. Solutions and hints to selected problems are provided at the end of the book. This textbook will enable the student to develop a sound understanding of the theory of general relativity.

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