This book is intended for undergraduates taking an introductory course on special relativity which is rather conceptually and mathematically than experimentally orientated A suitably prepared reader could use it for self study It assumes no prior knowledge of relativity Thus it elaborates the underlying logic, dwells on the subleties and apparent paradoxes, and also contains a large collection of problems which should just about cover all the basic modes of thinking and calculating in special relativity Much emphasis has been laid on developing the student s intuition for space time geometry and four tensor calculus but the approach is not so dogmatically four dimensional that three dimensional methods are rejected our of hand when they yield a result directly This updated new edition contains additional examples and problems, and the chapter on relativistic mechanics of continua has been substantially rewritten I have read 4 chapters of the book and I enjoyed reading it so far There were a few typos that I noticed and there are some analogies that I can t quite agree with, but the technical aspects are crisp and clear The topic of special relativity is such that you get better understanding the time you spend thinking about certain mind boggling phenomena, such as the relativity of simultaneity, length contraction paradox, etc and this book gave me enough to think through and gain a deeper understanding The diagrams and figures are adequate and help make the thinking process easier.I like the approach that the author takes in introducing the Lorentz transformations, arguing that they must be linear and then finding the linear relationships This is in contrast to some other book can t remember which that I tried to read at an earlier point that used light pulses to make measurements in 2 frames and somehow derive the transformations from there sorry, can t remember exactly which I found was confusing and unnecessary in hindsight Also, as beginners it is very easy to get confused by relativity, simultaneity, transformations etc, and form some misconceptions in the initial phase only to later realize that they are wrong I felt that there were correct guides at the right times to clear such misconceptions Again, the reward that you get here increases with the time you spend thinking.One thing I would have liked is a bit of history and perspective It is always fun to start reading such topics with some history and context in mind, but this book did not cover it in enough detail in my opinion Nonetheless, history is something that can easily be understood by watching some documentaries and reading a few articles Learning the theory and concepts is the harder part and the author has done an excellent job in explaining them thus far I ll update this review after reading the entire book. The special theory of relativity was proposed in 1905 by Albert Einstein in his article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies Some three centuries earlier, Galileo s principle of relativity had stated that all uniform motion was relative, and that there was no absolute and well defined state of rest a person on the deck of a ship may be at rest in his opinion, but someone observing from the shore would say that he was moving Einstein s theory combines Galilean relativity with the postulate that all observers will always measure the speed of light to be the same no matter what their state of uniform linear motion is This theory has a variety of surprising consequences that seem to violate common sense, but which have been verified experimentally and overthrows Newtonian notions of absolute space and time by stating that distance and time depend on the observer, and that time and space are perceived differently, depending on the observer.This book assumes no prior knowledge of relativity, and I have found it great as a device for self teaching this fascinating subject It elaborates on the underlying logic, dwells on the subtleties and apparent paradoxes, and contains a large number of problems which cover all the basic modes of thinking and calculation in this discipline.The viewpoint of the first three chapters is three dimensional These chapters include simple introductions to topics such as the relativity of simultaneity, length contraction, time dilation, the twin paradox, and the appearance of moving objects Starting in chapter four on spacetime, the strongest possible use is made of four dimensional techniques Pure tensor theory is relegated to the appendix, so that it can serve as chapter 3.5 for readers that are unfamiliar with it In chapters 5 and 6, on mechanics and electromagnetism, a purely synthetic four tensor approach is adopted This is simpler and transparent than the historical approach, a good example of four dimensional reasoning, and also brings the reader face to face with the man made aspect of physical laws In the last chapter on the mechanics of continua, the synthetic approach is somewhat softened by the well known analogy with electromagnetism I highly recommend this very readable book on a complex subject It is especially helpful to those with an engineering background, since it makes heavy use of examples and diagrams to explain concepts The table of contents is as follows 1 Foundations of Special Relativity2 Relativistic Kinematics3 Relativistic Optics4 Spacetime5 Relativistic Particle Mechanics6 Relativity and Electromagnetism in Vacuum7 Relativistic Mechanics of ContinuaAppendix Tensors for Special Relativity Cool