Relativity for the Mind:
An Introduction for Scientists

Porter Wear Johnson
208 pages, 9x6 inches
 January 2007 Hardcover
 ISBN 1-58949-054-1


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Why study relativity? It certainly is useful in a wide variety of contexts, but that is not all.  It is a prime ingredient of theoretical physics, and its study improves the mind. One obtains an understanding of time, space, and matter through the mind-honing precision of its mathematical

The development of the special and general theories is self-contained. Vectors, tensors, geodesics, and differential geometry are described in simple terms. Applications are made to synchrotron and Cherenkov radiation, astrophysics, accelerator physics, optics, and statistical mechanics.

As any other subject in physics, relativity can only be learned by thinking, writing, and worrying. The book contains numerous problems and detailed solutions.

undergraduate students, graduate students, teachers, researchers interested in modern physics.


1.  Special Relativity
Lorentz Transformation
Experimental Consequences
Geometry of Space-time
Exercises, with Solutions

2.  Relativistic Dynamics
Lagrangian Formulation
Particle in Electromagnetic Field
Uniform Electric and Magnetic Fields
Bounded Trajectories in Coulomb Field
Unbounded Coulomb Trajectories
Exercises, with Solutions

3.  The Electromagnetic Field
Electromagnetic Field Dynamics
Electromagnetic Field Energy
Electromagnetic Fields of a Point Charge
Exercises, with Solutions

4.  Electromagnetic Radiation
Synchrotron Radiation
Cherenkov Radiation
Exercises, with Solutions

5.  Physics in Curved Spacetime
Geometry of Curved Spacetime
Rindler Space

Tensor Analysis
Killing Vectors
Exercises, with Solutions

6.  Dynamics of the Gravitational Field
Relativistic Hydrodynamics
Riemannian Geometry and Physics
Gravitational Field Equations
Schwarzchild Metric: Point Mass
Kruskal Extension
Exercises, with Solutions

7.  Solar and Stellar Systems
Gravitational Redshift
Relativity in Planetary Orbits
Deflection of Light Near the Sun
Time Delay of Reflected Signals Passing near the Sun
Rotational Dragging
Exercises, with Solutions

8.  Large Scale Gravitation
Propagation and Detection of Gravitational Waves
Brans-Dicke Theory
Exercises, with Solutions

Frequently Used Symbols
Vector Analysis


Porter Wear JOHNSON received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1967. He has been a professor of  physics at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) since 1983. Dr Johnson has been the director of Science and Mathematics Initiative for Learning Enhancement (SMILE) Program at IIT since 1993 and the director of Science and Mathematics through Application of Relevant Technology (SMART) program since 2000. His recent research interests in high energy theoretical physics involve dynamical mass generation in formally massless quantum field theories, including a number of studies of fermion mass generation in three and four dimensions. The interest lies in QED in its own right, as well as in other theories for which the effective coupling strength varies quite slowly with changing momentum scale. Dr Johnson has also studied the problem of Chiral Symmetry Breaking in Quantum Chromodynamics, with the goal of understanding low energy hadron phenomenology in the context of these models.