Get Gravitation Book essential facts below. View Videos or join the Gravitation Book discussion. Add Gravitation Book to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Gravitation is a physics book on Einstein's theory of gravity, written by Charles W. Misner, Kip S. Thorne, and John Archibald Wheeler and originally published by W. H. Freeman and Company in 1973. It is frequently abbreviated MTW after its authors' last names. The cover illustration, drawn by Kenneth Gwin, is a line drawing of an apple with cuts in the skin to show geodesics. It contains 10 parts and 44 chapters, each beginning with a quotation. The bibliography has a long list of original sources and other notable books in the field. While this may not be considered the best introductory text because its coverage may overwhelm a newcomer, and despite the fact that parts of it are now out-of-date, it remains a highly-valued reference for advanced graduate students and researchers.
The topics covered are broadly divided into two "tracks", the first contains the core topics while the second has more advanced content. The first track can be read independently of the second track. The main text is supplemented by boxes containing extra information, which can be omitted without loss of continuity. Margin notes are also inserted to annotate the main text.
The prose in the book is conversational; the authors use plain language and analogies to everyday objects. For example, Lorentz transformed coordinates are described as a "squashed egg-crate" with an illustration. Tensors are described as "machines with slots" to insert vectors or one-forms, and containing "gears and wheels that guarantee the output" of other tensors.
"Over thirty years since its publication, Gravitation is still the most comprehensive treatise on general relativity. An authoritative and complete discussion of almost any topic in the subject can be found within its 1300 pages. It also contains an extensive bibliography with references to original sources. Written by three twentieth-century masters of the subject, it set the style for many later texts on the subject, including this one."
"The book that educated at least two generations of researchers in gravitational physics. Comprehensive and encyclopedic, the book is written in an often-idiosyncratic way that you will either like or not."
"This large sized (20cm × 25cm), 1272 page book begins at the very beginning and has everything on gravity (up to 1973). There are hundreds of diagrams and special boxes for additional explanations, exercises, historical and bibliographical asides and bibliographical details."
"I would also recommend looking at the relevant sections of the text of Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler, known for short as 'MTW'. MTW is a rich resource and is certainly worth consulting for a whole string of topics. However, its style is not perhaps for everyone (I find it somewhat verbose in places and would not recommend it for a first course in general relativity). MTW has a very extensive bibliography."
"This massive treatise (1279 pages! (the pun is irresistible)) is to be praised for the great efforts made to help the reader through the maze. The pedagogic apparatus includes separately marked tracks, boxes of various kinds, marginal comments, and cleverly designed diagrams."
The third edition of Goldstein's text still lists Gravitation as an "excellent" resource on field theory in its selected biography.