A brief introduction to gravity through Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Of the four fundamental forces of nature, gravity might be the least understood and yet the one with which we are most intimate. From the months each of us spent suspended in the womb anticipating birth to the moments when we wait for sleep to transport us to other realities, we are always aware of gravity. In On Gravity, physicist A. Zee combines profound depth with incisive accessibility to take us on an original and compelling tour of Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Inspired by Einstein's audacious suggestion that spacetime could ripple, Zee begins with the stunning discovery of gravity waves. He goes on to explain how gravity can be understood in comparison to other classical field theories, presents the idea of curved spacetime and the action principle, and explores cutting-edge topics, including black holes and Hawking radiation. Zee travels as far as the theory reaches, leaving us with tantalizing hints of the utterly unknown, from the intransigence of quantum gravity to the mysteries of dark matter and energy.
Concise and precise, and infused with Zee's signature warmth and freshness of style, On Gravity opens a unique pathway to comprehending relativity and gaining deep insight into gravity, spacetime, and the workings of the universe.
A. Zee is professor of physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His many books include Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell, Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, and Fearful Symmetry (all Princeton).