The Geometry of Special Relativity

Editorial Reviews

“This short but remarkable book on special relativity develops the theory strictly from the geometry of hyperbolas, an approach unique within the textbook literature. … it gives an elementary, lively introduction to the theory. … The approximately 70 diagrams are not merely illustrations of the material given in the text of this well-thought-out representation but in most cases tools for the geometrical derivation of the results.”
—Wolfgang Hasse, Mathematical Reviews, May 2013

“I enjoyed reading this book and certainly learned from it … it would serve best as a supplemental text for a course in special relativity … This is unquestionably a book that anybody who teaches special relativity will want to look at.”
—Mark Hunacek, MAA Reviews, September 2012

“This book is very clearly and simply written. The treatment is mathematically and physically sound. The diagrams are especially good. Though there are many introductory books on special relativity, this book is unique in its emphasis on hyperbolic functions and geometry. The book can stand alone as an elementary introduction to relativity. Or it can serve well as a supplement to other books on relativity or electrodynamics. I strongly endorse it.”
—David Hestenes, Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, Arizona State University

“Einstein would have loved this book. It makes the beauty of his theory accessible to anybody familiar with just trigonometric functions and elementary calculus. But also experts may profit from its thoroughly geometric point of view. A great contribution to the literature on Special Relativity!”
—Jürgen Renn, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and editor of Genesis of General Relativity

“This text successfully presents a geometrical pictorial view of special relativistic effects that cannot be found in any other introduction for non-scientists. Indeed, I wager that even a practicing relativist will encounter some surprisingly enriching perspectives.”
—Don Salisbury, Austin College, Texas

“It is usually thought that spacetime geometry is part of the subject of general relativity, and that special relativity is all about clocks and trains and light. But special relativity has a geometry of its own: the Minkowskian geometry of spacetime, as opposed to the usual Euclidean geometry of space. Now The Geometry of Special Relativity by Tevian Dray comes along with a beautiful treatment of this much neglected approach. … The book is written in an extremely clear and engaging style. There are many examples as well as exercises for the reader. Anyone who wants to have a deep understanding of special relativity should read this book.”
—David Garfinkle, Oakland University

“The approach to Special Relativity (SR) taken by the author is a novel, geometrical one, relying on the use of (elementary) hyperbolic geometry and employing lots of diagrams instead of the usual, more analytical, approach. … The author writes in a pleasing, informal and highly readable style and deals with time dilation, length contraction, the Lorentz transformations, the Doppler effect, etc. The chapter on the so-called ‘paradoxes’ of SR provides some welcome relief to any doubts which may arise in the mind of the reader and the three chapters of problems are most useful in the consolidation of the previous material. The author also includes a simple introduction to Minkowski’s unification of the electric and magnetic fields which arises as a consequence of SR. This book is a valuable and original addition to the literature on SR.”
—G.S. Hall, Institute of Mathematics, University of Aberdeen

“Clear, beautiful, crystalline. Relativity is about hyperbolas in spacetime! The mathematically inclined will savor Tevian Dray’s friendly primer.”
—Rudy Rucker, author of Geometry, Relativity, and the Fourth Dimension

“This book is essentially a grown-up version of the masterful Spacetime Physics by Taylor and Wheeler. Anyone who teaches or intends to teach special relativity needs to own a copy.”
—Niall O’Murchadha, Department of Physics, National University of Ireland

“The answer to all the questions about special relativity that you didn’t know how to ask. A welcome addition to any physics library.”
—A. Held, University of Bern

“Special relativity, which is fundamental to our understanding of the physical world, is best understood by enlarging our ideas of geometry to include both space and time. Tevian Dray’s book gives a thoroughly geometrical account of the theory. He clearly explains the interesting ways in which the geometry of space must be adapted to include time and develops the ideas of relativity in a purely geometrical form. The value of this geometrical approach is shown in a number of carefully worked examples, in which the reader is left to do some of the work and thereby acquire an intuitive understanding of the theory.
Tevian Dray is a respected researcher in general relativity and an experienced teacher of mathematical physics. He has written an original and valuable introduction to the concepts of special relativity.”
—Tony Sudbery, Department of Mathematics, University of York

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