Relativity: A Modern Primer

A short and sweet textbook on Einstein’s theory of relativity, and more.

Download it here. (Previous versions are here.)

Why another relativity textbook?

Learning relativity was a long journey for me. From college courses to self-study, I needed many resources to fully understand the theory, and I eventually felt that I could explain it better and with fewer words than other textbooks. Here is the result.


  1. Concise: Only about 100 pages long.
  2. Deep: Unlike a popular physics book, we will dive into the math. Keep a pencil and paper handy.
  3. Broad: In addition to special and general relativity, it covers Lagrangian mechanics, a bit of electromagnetism, and an introduction to cosmology.
  4. Pedagogical: Clear explanations with many figures and exercises. Exercises are marked by difficulty with 1-3 stars (*). I have tried to find the most intuitive way to understand each concept, and I anticipate common points of confusion based on my own experience.


Vector calculus and classical mechanics. Basically, a standard freshman or sophomore physics curriculum in the US. Some knowledge of linear algebra and electromagnetism will also help, although Appendix A develops the necessary linear algebra.

I will write an exercise solutions manual if there is enough interest.

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