General Relativity and Cosmology: A First Course

| February 27, 2012 | 0 Comments

So this time let’s check out something a little bit more serious. I would like review this great book on the basics of GR and cosmology by Tai L. Chow. I’ve read quite a few guides on general and special theories of relativity and I can assure you that it’s quite hard to find a book on this subject that will suit your needs. If you’re a student and would like to learn this subject on your own then usually the problem is that most of the books are either too advanced or too basic. Tai L. Chow’s book is one of those rare books, which get’s it about right – you get all the basics covered, however the mathematics is not too hairy. That is why I would like to recommend this book to students or anyone who knows the basics of relativity and would like to learn more.


Basic Info

  • Paperback: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Wuerz Pub Ltd (May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0920063543
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,384,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


About the Author

Tai L. Chow was born and raised in China. He received his BSc. degree in Physics from the National Taiwan University and later his Phd. from the University of Rochester. He has published more than 30 research papers, mostly in astrophysics. In this book he shares his knowledge and experience on special and general theories of relativity, which he has been teaching for more than thirty years.


Short Review

As the title says, this book is basically an introductory textbook on general relativity and cosmology. As I mentioned before, this book seems to be one of those rare books, which fall somewhere in between — it has all the required maths and some philosophical considerations as well. Another great thing is that the book has everything you need for the basics of GR, that is, it has a couple of chapters on Newtonian Mechanics, Newton’s law of gravity and special relativity. Some problems are added after every chapter as well.

The book is not too hard, if you have some experience in special relativity, calculus and maybe some tensors. I would probably recommend this for at least 2nd year students, as the later chapters get quite hard if you don’t know the basics of relativity. But nonetheless, check out this nice little book (270 pages), as it is a really great choice.


Chapters of the Book:

  1. Classical Mechanics
  2.  Special Relativity
  3.  Basic Ideas of General Relativity
  4.  Curvilinear Coordinates and General Tensors
  5.  Einstein’s Law of Gravitation
  6.  The Schwarzschild Solutions
  7.  Experimental Tests of Einstein’s Theory
  8.  The Physics of Black Holes
  9. Elements of Cosmology
  10. Cosmic Dynamics
  11. The Physics of the Early Universe




1) General Relativity and Cosmology on Amazon:




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Category: Physics Books

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