General Relativity for Mathematicians

By (author)Eric Weinstein

This is a book about physics, written for mathematicians. The readers we have in mind can be roughly described as those who: I. are mathematics graduate students with some knowledge of global differential geometry 2. have had the equivalent of freshman physics, and find popular accounts of astrophysics and cosmology interesting 3. appreciate mathematical elarity, but are willing to accept physical motiva?? tions for the mathematics in place of mathematical ones 4. are willing to spend time and effort mastering certain technical details, such as those in Section 1. 1. Each book disappoints so me readers. This one will disappoint: 1. physicists who want to use this book as a first course on differential geometry 2. mathematicians who think Lorentzian manifolds are wholly similar to Riemannian ones, or that, given a sufficiently good mathematical back?? ground, the essentials of a subject !ike cosmology can be learned without so me hard work on boring detaiis 3. those who believe vague philosophical arguments have more than historical and heuristic significance, that general relativity should somehow be “proved,” or that axiomatization of this subject is useful 4. those who want an encyclopedic treatment (the books by Hawking-Ellis [1], Penrose [1], Weinberg [1], and Misner-Thorne-Wheeler [I] go further into the subject than we do; see also the survey article, Sachs-Wu [1]). 5. mathematicians who want to learn quantum physics or unified fieId theory (unfortunateIy, quantum physics texts all seem either to be for physicists, or merely concerned with formaI mathematics).