This book brings Einstein's general relativity into action in new ways at scales ranging from the tiny Planck scale to the scale of immense galactic clusters. It presents the case that Einstein's theory of gravity can describe the observed dynamics of galaxies without invoking the unknown “dark matter” required in models based on Newtonian gravity.Drawing on the author's experience as a lecturer and on his own research, the book covers the essentials of Einstein's special and general relativity at a level accessible to undergraduate students. The early chapters provide a compact introduction to relativity for readers who have little or no background in the subject. Hermann Bondi's very transparent approach to special relativity is expanded to resolve the “twin paradox” using only elementary mathematics. In later chapters, general relativity is used to extend the concept of the Planck scale, to address the role of the cosmological term and to analyze the concept of “time machines”.

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