General Relativistic Dynamics: Extending Einstein's Legacy Throughout the Universe

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World Scientific, 2009 - Science - 232 pages
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This book brings Einstein's general relativity into action in new ways at scales ranging from the tiny Planck scale to the scale of immense galactic clusters. It presents the case that Einstein's theory of gravity can describe the observed dynamics of galaxies without invoking the unknown OC dark matterOCO required in models based on Newtonian gravity. Drawing on the author's experience as a lecturer and on his own research, the book covers the essentials of Einstein's special and general relativity at a level accessible to undergraduate students. The early chapters provide a compact introduction to relativity for readers who have little or no background in the subject. Hermann Bondi's very transparent approach to special relativity is expanded to resolve the OC twin paradoxOCO using only elementary mathematics. In later chapters, general relativity is used to extend the concept of the Planck scale, to address the role of the cosmological term and to analyze the concept of OC time machinesOCO.

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I fear that the scientifically literate layman will feel that Fred I. Cooperstock's General Relativistic Dynamics is too difficult a read; and the professional physicist and astronomer will feel that this is another specialized book outside of his area of professional specialization. Both will be wrong; General Relativistic Dynamics (Extending Einstein's Legacy Throughout the Universe) is an exceptionally readable book whose topic is importantly necessary for literate laymen and professional physicists and astronomers to understand. Physics in the last century has become a rabbit warren of subspecialties understandable and seriously discussed only by physicists within each subspecialty. This has lead to a generation of physicists whose knowledge of the whole of physics is quite limited. To the point of Cooperstock's remarkable book, general relativity is not understood by most working physicists and astronomers. To be sure general relativity is revered; but it is often viewed as too difficult to apply or deemed unnecessary for a particular astronomical problem. Fred I. Cooperstock patiently explains that flat Newtonian gravitational theory is an inappropraite assumption for many astronomical calculations. That the curved spacetime of general relativity is necessary for many astronomical calculations comes as no surprise to the laymen; but working astronomers have long assumed that Newtonian gravitational theory is sufficient for most problems involving galaxies and clusters of galaxies. As one important particular, Cooperstock asserts, "Einstein's general theory of relativity, could account for the observed flat galactic rotation curves without the requirement for vast stores of mysterious dark matter." In other words, the entire idea that vast quantities of invisible "dark matter" are the dominant form of matter in our visible universe is flawed from its first conception; because it is based upon the incorrect assumption that Newtonian gravity is a sufficient gravitational theory at the galactic level. Cooperstock "wonders how different physics might have evolved had the early astronomers made themselves more knowledgeable about general relativity and made the kinds of calculations for galactic velocities that we have described in this book." To the layman and professional physicists, I must emphasize that Cooperstock describes the results of these difficult calculations. You and I, the reader, do not need to be able to follow them; but I advise as far as we are able that we read and understand the arguments which he presents. If physics is truely to become a theory of everything; then physicists must become fluent in the important discusions of theories across all of physics. As long as physicists defer to the peer reviewed views of the specialist physicists in every subspecialty of physics; they will be doing a scientific disservice to physics. The logic, the sound reasoning and discussion of physics theories has to be returned to physicists, astronomers and literate laymen; else the subspecialties of physics will become the domain of alchemists and astrologers. Cooperstock does not focus upon all of physics; he focuses upon what he knows best - General Relativistic Dynamics (Extending Einstein's Legacy Throughout the Universe). He builds a strong case that general relativity has to become the working knowledge of profesional physicists and astronomers. His book gives us a way to achieve literacy about 21st century extensions to Einstein's legacy. This is not just another book about general relativity, it must be read and reread by experts and yet is "readily accessible to the non-experts." Fred I. Cooperstock is a master teacher.
review by Thomas Neil Neubert author of A Critique of Pure Physics


Chapter 2 Essentials of Special Relativity
Chapter 3 Bondis kCalculus Approach to Special Relativity
Chapter 4 Essentials of General Relativity
Chapter 5 Schwarzschild Solution and its Consequences
Chapter 6 Gravitational Waves
Chapter 7 The Normal Scales of Physics and the Planck Scale
Chapter 8 General Relativistic Cosmology
Chapter 9 Motion of the Stars in the Galaxy
Chapter 11 Closed Timelike Curves and Time Machines
Chapter 12 The Direction of Physics Research
Chapter 13 Summary with Concluding Commentary
Appendix A Critical Challenges and Our Replies
Appendix B Radial Velocity Derivation Details

Chapter 10 Clusters of Galaxies

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