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Submission + - Math curriculum to understand General Relativity 3

sjwaste writes: "Slashdot posts a fair number of physics stories. Many of us, myself included, don't have the background to understand them. So I'd like to ask the Slashdot math/physics community to construct a curriculum that gets me, an average college grad with two semesters of chemistry, one of calculus, and maybe 2-3 applied statistics courses all the way to understanding the mathematics of general relativity. What would I need to learn, in what order, and what texts should I use? Before I get killed here, I know this isn't a weekend project, but it seems like it could be fun to do in my spare time for the next... decade."
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Math curriculum to understand General Relativity

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  • In order, I think you should : 1-Make sure you are good with basic vector and matrix math 2-Make sure you are good with basic newtonian physics (mechanics, gravity, etc) 3-(optional but very helpful) become familiar with coordinate changes (from cartesian to spherical and others like cylindrical) 4- Learn special relativity before general relativity... I specify it because sometimes it is not obvious that special relativity is a prerequisite for the general relativity because the names may be misleading (h
    • by the way, I did not specify any text book because I think you can find all of this on the internet
    • by sjwaste ( 780063 )
      Thanks for responding. It was the order of things that probably confused me the most, so I'l give vector/matrix math a shot and then try to work through Newtonian physics. I've had a course in Newtonian physics, but it wasn't calculus-based, so that probably didn't teach me anything other than an overview of the concepts.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.