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Tensors, Relativity, and Cosmology

Tensors, Relativity, and Cosmology

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Tensors, Relativity, and Cosmology

3/5 (1 valutazione)
599 pagine
11 ore
Jul 8, 2015


Tensors, Relativity, and Cosmology, Second Edition, combines relativity, astrophysics, and cosmology in a single volume, providing a simplified introduction to each subject that is followed by detailed mathematical derivations.

The book includes a section on general relativity that gives the case for a curved space-time, presents the mathematical background (tensor calculus, Riemannian geometry), discusses the Einstein equation and its solutions (including black holes and Penrose processes), and considers the energy-momentum tensor for various solutions. In addition, a section on relativistic astrophysics discusses stellar contraction and collapse, neutron stars and their equations of state, black holes, and accretion onto collapsed objects, with a final section on cosmology discussing cosmological models, observational tests, and scenarios for the early universe.

This fully revised and updated second edition includes new material on relativistic effects, such as the behavior of clocks and measuring rods in motion, relativistic addition of velocities, and the twin paradox, as well as new material on gravitational waves, amongst other topics.

  • Clearly combines relativity, astrophysics, and cosmology in a single volume
  • Extensive introductions to each section are followed by relevant examples and numerous exercises
  • Presents topics of interest to those researching and studying tensor calculus, the theory of relativity, gravitation, cosmology, quantum cosmology, Robertson-Walker Metrics, curvature tensors, kinematics, black holes, and more
  • Fully revised and updated with 80 pages of new material on relativistic effects, such as relativity of simultaneity and relativity of the concept of distance, amongst other topics
  • Provides an easy-to-understand approach to this advanced field of mathematics and modern physics by providing highly detailed derivations of all equations and results
Jul 8, 2015

Informazioni sull'autore

Mirjana Dalarsson is affiliated with the Research and Development program at Ericsson Corporation. She holds a Licentiate degree in Engineering Physics and has more than 25 years of research and teaching experience. Former affiliations in the academic and private sector include the Royal Institute of Technology, Belgrade University, Uppsala University, and ABB Corporation.

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Anteprima del libro

Tensors, Relativity, and Cosmology - Mirjana Dalarsson





In this chapter, we place tensor calculus and theory of relativity on the map of modern physics. We give a brief history of the revolutionary developments of modern physics in the beginning of the twentieth century. Thereby, we give a brief introduction to the origins and history of tensor calculus as a mathematical discipline, with its close relation to the special and general theories of relativity. Thereafter, we indicate the applicability and usefulness of tensor calculus in a number of other areas of physics and engineering. Finally, we outline the contents of the book by a short presentation of its five main parts.


Tensor calculus

Mathematical discipline





The tensor calculus is a mathematical discipline of relatively recent origin. It is fair to say that, with few exceptions, the tensor calculus was developed during the twentieth century. It is also an area of mathematics that was developed for an immediate practical use in the theory of relativity, with which it is strongly interrelated. Later, however, the tensor calculus has proven to be useful in other areas of physics and engineering such as classical mechanics of particles and continuous media, differential geometry, electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, solid state physics, and quantum field theory. Recently, it has been used even in electric circuit theory and some other purely engineering disciplines.

In the early twentieth century, at the same time when the tensor calculus was developed, a number of major breakthroughs of modern science were made. In 1905 the special theory of relativity was formulated, then in 1915 the general theory of relativity was developed, and in 1925 the quantum mechanics took its present form. In the years to come quantum mechanics and special theory of relativity were combined to develop the relativistic quantum field theory, which gives at least a partial explanation of the three fundamental forces of nature (strong, electromagnetic, and weak).

The remaining known fundamental force of nature, the force of gravity, is different from the other three fundamental forces. Although very weak on the small scale, gravity dominates the other three forces over cosmic distances. This dominance, due to gravity being a long-range force that cannot be screened, makes it the only available foundation for any cosmology. The other three fundamental forces are explained through particle interactions in the flat space-time of special relativity. However, gravity does not allow for such an explanation. In order to explain gravity, Einstein had to connect it with the geometry of space-time and formulate a relativistic theory of gravitation. For a long time, the general relativity was separate from the other parts of physics, partly because of the mathematical framework of the theory (tensor calculus), which was not extensively used in any other discipline during that time.

The tensor calculus is today used in a number of other disciplines as well, and its extension to other areas of physics and engineering is a result of the simplification of the mathematical notation and in particular the possibility of natural extension of the equations to the relativistic case.

Today, physics and astronomy have joined forces to form the discipline called relativistic astrophysics. The major advances in cosmology, including the attempts to formulate quantum cosmology, also increase the importance of general relativity. A number of attempts have been made to unify gravity with the other three fundamental forces of nature, thus introducing the tensor calculus and Riemannian geometry to the new exciting areas of physics such as the theory of superstrings.

In the first two parts of the book a pedagogical introduction to the tensor calculus is covered. Thereafter, an introduction to the special and general theories of relativity is presented. Finally an introduction to the modern theory of cosmology is discussed.

Part 1

Tensor Algebra


Notation and Systems of Numbers


In this chapter, we introduce the basic concepts and notation required for the subsequent study of tensor calculus. With some well-known concepts from linear algebra as a starting point, we define different systems of numbers and basic operations that can be performed on them. We study the symmetry properties of systems of numbers and introduce the concepts of symmetric and antisymmetric systems. Thereafter, we describe the Einstein summation convention and all the basic rules for its application in tensor calculus. Finally, we introduce the important concepts of unit symmetric systems (δ-symbols) and unit antisymmetric systems (e-symbols) with their main properties.






Summation convention



2.1 Introduction and Basic Concepts

In order to get acquainted with the basic notation and concepts of the tensor calculus, it is convenient to use some well-known concepts from linear algebra. The collection of N elements of a column matrix is often denoted by subscripts as x1,x2,…,xN. Using a lower index i = 1,2,…,N, we can introduce the following short-hand notation:


Sometimes, the same collection of N elements is denoted by corresponding superscripts as x¹,x²,…,xN. Using here an upper index i = 1,2,…,N, we can also introduce the following short-hand notation:


In general the choice of a lower or an upper index to denote the collection of N elements of a column matrix is fully arbitrary. However, it will be shown later that in the tensor calculus lower and upper indices are used to denote mathematical objects of different natures. Therefore, both types of indices are essential for the development of tensor calculus as a mathematical discipline. In the definition (2.2) it should be noted that i is an upper index and not a power of x. Whenever there is a risk of confusion of an upper index and a power, such as when we want to write a square of xi, we will use parentheses as follows:


A collection of numbers, defined by just one (upper or lower) index, will be called a first-order system or a simple system. The individual elements of such a system will be called the elements or coordinates of the system. The introduction of the lower and upper indices provides a device to highlight the different nature of different first-order systems with the equal number of elements. Consider, for example, the following linear form:


Introducing the labels ai = {a,b,c} and xi = {x,y,z}, the expression (2.4) can be written as follows:


indicating the different nature of the two first-order systems. In order to emphasize the advantage of the proposed notation, let us consider a bilinear form created using two first-order systems xi and yi(i = 1,2,3):


Here, we see that the short-hand notation on the right-hand side of (2.6) is quite compact. The system of parameters of the bilinear form


is labeled by two lower indices. This system has nine elements and they can be represented by the following 3 × 3 square

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