Gravity from the Ground Up: An Introductory Guide to Gravity and General Relativity

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 4, 2003 - Science - 462 pages
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This book invites the reader to understand our Universe, not just marvel at it. From the clock-like motions of the planets to the catastrophic collapse of a star into a black hole, gravity controls the Universe. Gravity is central to modern physics, helping to answer the deepest questions about the nature of time, the origin of the Universe and the unification of the forces of nature. Linking key experiments and observations through careful physical reasoning, the author builds the reader's insight step-by-step from simple but profound facts about gravity on Earth to the frontiers of research. Topics covered include the nature of stars and galaxies, the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, black holes, gravitational waves, inflation and the Big Bang. Suitable for general readers and for undergraduate courses, the treatment uses only high-school level mathematics, supplemented by optional computer programs, to explain the laws of physics governing gravity.

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About the author (2003)

Bernard Schutz has done research and teaching in general relativity and especially its applications in astronomy since 1970. He is the author of more than 200 publications, including Geometrical Methods of Mathematical Physics and A First Course in General Relativity (both published by Cambridge University Press). Schutz currently specialises in gravitational wave research, studying the theory of potential sources and designing new methods for analysing the data from current and planned detectors. He is a member of most of the current large-scale gravitational wave projects: GEO600 (of which he is a PI), the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and LISA. Schutz is a Director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, also known as the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), in Potsdam, Germany. He holds a part-time chair in Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University, Wales, as well as honorary professorships at Potsdam and Hanover universities in Germany. Educated in the USA, he taught physics and astronomy for twenty years at Cardiff before moving to Germany in 1995 to the newly-founded AEI. In 1998 he founded the open-access online journal Living Reviews in Relativity. The Living Reviews family now includes six journals. In 2006 he was awarded the Amaldi Gold Medal of the Italian Society for Gravitation (SIGRAV), and in 2011 he received an honorary DSc from the University of Glasgow. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a member of the Learned Society of Wales, the German Academy of Natural Sciences Leopoldina and the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences, Uppsala.

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