Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Sean's textbook on GR

Jacob Barandes just told us about Sean Carroll's textbook on general relativity. Yes, it is the same Sean who lives in the Preposterous Universe, another Universe in the blogspot.com multiverse. It's the best book on GR ever; it fills the holes in all 8 textbooks that Jacob had read previously; it is a book that makes sense; he wishes he had the book when he was getting started with GR.

After having looked at the free version of that book


I must agree and recommend you this apparently excellent piece of work! You should buy the commercial version of the book because
  • it has better diagrams
  • you will help Sean to be awarded for his work
The amazon.com page of that book is at


Update: When I was telling about this recommended GR book to Andy Strominger, he replied: "I am using it in my course!" :-)


  1. Thanks, Luboš. Other good reasons: the book has an index. And a nice cover. It makes a great Christmas present.

  2. I have added the pdf to my links, and hopefully will one day purchased Sean's book.

    For nostalgic reasons, I would like to offer this link as well.

    What would either of you gentlemen think of Einsteins continued work into his later years? Were they productive from your perspective?


  3. Lubos, I agree, it's a great book, just bought it from Harvard book store...please remember that Cheney voted to raise taxes 177 times (rumor has it), a few more than Kerry's 98 or whatever it was (rumor has it)...I know that eastern block countries tend to love anything that does not smack of socialism, but research the statements made in debates as we do any claim in physics....careful, careful careful...ciao,

  4. I looked at the PDF version, which looks ok, but I don't quite see why one would think it is so unique.

  5. Dear Jennifer,
    nice to hear about agreement about something.

    It's useful to have a blog - Cheney's 177 "raise taxes" votes have already been described in the comments under a political article on this blog, which was a slightly more on-topic choice of the place than (y)ours. :-) So my feeling now is that this is the only argument that can be invented against the Bush-Cheney ticket as far as taxes go.

    I've replied that such votes make a difference. Nevertheless, Bush-Cheney already *have* a record of lowering taxes from the Whitehouse, which makes the previous votes of Cheney less relevant.

    Concerning research about politics: be sure that I've been doing such research (simultaneously with other types of research) for 25 years or so, and one half of this time period was done under conditions that are very suitable to study socialism and its natural consequences. :-) This is what makes me believe that I know "slighly" more about socialism than you do, for example.

    You know that the academic Left is often criticized by the American right wing for living inside a cage, being isolated from the real world. As an outsider, I must say that there is something about it. ;-)

    On the other hand, I've never had any serious (or semi-serious) problems with my political opinions in the US, and if someone believes that I should have, it is her or his private, extreme opinion, that was shared by the friends in the Soviet bloc, but is not shared by the American people. This is a free country.

    All the best

  6. You guys are why I'm suspicious of academia. What the heck do Kerry's and Cheney's voting records have to do with Sean's book on GR?

  7. Clarification: Luboš upon reading your subsequent comment, I don't think you are included in the set of "you guys" referred to in my previous post. However, you are, I suspect, surrounded.

  8. Thanks for your observation. ;-) Let's not overestimate this off-topic exchange. A reader wanted to reply about politics, too - and she or he chose a newer article where the comment may be added. (The server informs me about the new comments under all articles, and it is conceivable that some people return to the older articles, too.) :-)