The foundations are thoroughly developed together with the required mathematical background from differential geometry developed in Part III. The author also discusses the tests of general relativity in detail, including binary pulsars, with much space is devoted to the study of compact objects, especially to neutron stars and to the basic laws of black-hole physics. This well-structured text and reference enables readers to easily navigate through the various sections as best matches their backgrounds and perspectives, whether mathematical, physical or astronomical. Very applications oriented, the text includes very recent results, such as the supermassive black-hole in our galaxy and first double pulsar system

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This text provides a comprehensive and timely introduction to general relativity. The foundations of the theory in Part I are thoroughly developed together with the required mathematical background from differential geometry in Part III. The six chapters in Part II are devoted to tests of general relativity and to many of its applications. Binary pulsars are studied in considerable detail. Much space is devoted to the study of compact objects, especially to black holes. This includes a detailed derivation of the Kerr solution, Israel's proof of his uniqueness theorem, and derivations of the basic laws of black hole physics. The final chapter of this part contains Witten's proof of the positive energy theorem. The book addresses undergraduate and graduate students in physics, astrophysics and mathematics. It is very well structured and should become a standard text for a modern treatment of gravitational physics. The clear presentation of differential geometry makes it also useful for string theory and other fields of physics, classical as well as quantum.

From the reviews: "In this book Norbert Straumann presents a pedagogically precise and highly informative account of both the physical and advanced mathematical concepts that a professional working in this field requires. The essential differential geometry background is placed in an extensive part ... . the treatment is both physically rigorous and comprehensive. This book is an important acquisition for anyone working in this area." (Geoffrey Bicknell, Australian Physics, Vol. 42 (4), September/October, 2005) "This text provides a comprehensive and timely introduction to general relativity. ... The book addresses undergraduate and graduate students in physics, astrophysics and mathematics. It is very well structured and should become a standard text for a modern treatment of gravitational physics. The clear presentation of differential geometry makes it also useful for strong theory and other fields of physics, classical as well as quantum." (ETDE Energy Database Energiedatenbank, November, 2004) "From the earliest sections, Straumann makes absolutely no pretence that this is a beginner’s guide to general relativity ... . There are points of interest for those disinclined (or unable) to follow the maths in detail. ... this book is primarily aimed at those who want to get very, very intimate with the mathematics of general relativity in an astrophysical .... context and who are endowed with a considerable background in all three subjects. ... this may be the ultimate specialist textbook." (Roger Feasey, Journal of the Auckland Astronomical Society, 2005)

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