Relativity and Cosmology: Volume 5 of Modern Classical Physics

A groundbreaking textbook on twenty-first-century general relativity and cosmology


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May 25, 2021
56 color + 2 b/w illus. 1 table.
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Kip Thorne and Roger Blandford’s monumental Modern Classical Physics is now available in five stand-alone volumes that make ideal textbooks for individual graduate or advanced undergraduate courses on statistical physics; optics; elasticity and fluid dynamics; plasma physics; and relativity and cosmology. Each volume teaches the fundamental concepts, emphasizes modern, real-world applications, and gives students a physical and intuitive understanding of the subject.

Relativity and Cosmology is an essential introduction to the subject, including remarkable recent advances. Written by award-winning physicists who have made fundamental contributions to the field and taught it for decades, the book differs from most others on the subject in important ways. It highlights recent transformations in our understanding of black holes, gravitational waves, and the cosmos; it emphasizes the physical interpretation of general relativity in terms of measurements made by observers; it explains the physics of the Riemann tensor in terms of tidal forces, differential frame dragging, and associated field lines; it presents an astrophysically oriented description of spinning black holes; it gives a detailed analysis of an incoming gravitational wave’s interaction with a detector such as LIGO; and it provides a comprehensive, in-depth account of the universe’s evolution, from its earliest moments to the present. While the book is designed to be used for a one-quarter or full-semester course, it goes deep enough to provide a foundation for understanding and participating in some areas of cutting-edge research.

  • Includes many exercise problems
  • Features color figures, suggestions for further reading, extensive cross-references, and a detailed index
  • Optional “Track 2” sections make this an ideal book for a one-quarter or one-semester course
  • An online illustration package is available to professors

The five volumes, which are available individually as paperbacks and ebooks, are Statistical Physics; Optics; Elasticity and Fluid Dynamics; Plasma Physics; and Relativity and Cosmology.

Awards and Recognition

  • Kip S. Thorne, Co-Winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics
  • Roger D. Blandford, Co-Winner of the 2016 Crafoord Prize in Astronomy and Winner of the 2020 Shaw Prize in Astronomy