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Mathematical Structures of Special Relativity

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.1993, 00:00 by Vincent J. Matsko, Walter Noll

This book is primarily intended to be a textbook for undergraduate students majoring in mathematics or in physics. Most, if not all, of the existing textbooks on Relativity use verbal descriptions together with what one might call \the mathematics of variables and coordinates". We believe that such an approach makes it difficult to convey a deeper understanding of the subject and an intuition for relativistic phenomena, an ability to "think relativistically" as it were. Such an understanding can be gained, we believe, by employing a more contemporary type of mathematics: the mathematics of sets, mappings, and relations. Typically, physics majors rarely learn about this kind of mathematics, and mathematics majors, when they learn about it, are not told how useful it can be to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts of physics.