


Gravitation and Inertia 
Einstein's standard and battletested geometric theory of gravityspacetime tells mass how to move and mass tells spacetime how to curveis expounded in this book by Ignazio Ciufolini and John Wheeler. They give special attention to the theory's observational checks and to two of its consequences: the predicted existence of gravitomagnetism and the origin of inertia (local inertial frames) in Einstein's general relativity: inertia here arises from mass there. The authors explain the modern understanding of the link between gravitation and inertia in Einstein's theory, from the origin of inertia in some cosmological models of the universe, to the interpretation of the initial value formulation of Einstein's standard geometrodynamics; and from the devices and the methods used to determine the local inertial frames of reference, to the experiments used to detect and measure the "dragging of inertial frames of reference." In this book, Ciufolini and Wheeler emphasize present, past, and proposed tests of gravitational interaction, metric theories, and general relativity. They describe the numerous confirmations of the foundations of geometrodynamics and some proposed experiments, including space missions, to test some of its fundamental predictionsin particular gravitomagnetic field or "dragging of inertial frames" and gravitational waves. "[An] admirably comprehensive guide. . . .The approach is leavened with historical perspectives and almost poetic insights. Particularly valuable [are] the up to date accounts of experimental tests of general relativity."Robert Matthews, New Scientist ". . . it has plenty of useful resources and ideas and it is enjoyable. It covers, sometimes with distinctive originality, topics not easily found in other textbooks. Its charm lies in the interweaving of Wheeler's speculative quest for the physical origin of inertia with Ciufolini's experimental craft. In such interweaving lies the magic of an extraordinarily beautiful science: the science of the shape of spacetime."Carlo Rovelli, Science "In this important work, Ciufolini and Wheeler provide extensive coverage of current gravitation theory, current problems of interest to the physics community, and recent and proposed experiments based upon Einstein's theory of general relativity."Choice "This is an excellent book that will be of interest to anyone seriously interested in general relativity. It is clearly written with a very well connected development of many topics which are not covered in the other books on the subject."Classical and Quantum Gravity "Gravitation and Inertia has plenty of useful resources and ideas and it is enjoyable. It covers, sometimes with distinctive originality, topics not easily found in other textbooks. Its charm lies in the interweaving of Wheeler's speculative quest for the physical origin of inertia with Ciufolini's experimental craft. In such interweaving lies the magic of an extraordinarily beautiful science: the science of the shape of spacetime."Science Endorsement: "This book is an ambitious walking tour through a host of topics in general relativity. It includes a treasure chest of useful references."Robert Geroch, University of Chicago Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by John Archibald Wheeler: Series:
Subject Areas:
A selection of the Library of Science Book Club  
 
Questions and comments to: webmaster@press.princeton.edu 
Send me emails about new books in:  
Mathematics  
Physics  
Astronomy and Cosmology  
More Choices 