Zee: Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell

Here are my notes and solutions to problems in the book Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell by Anthony Zee (Princeton University Press, 2013). As always, I give no guarantee that the solutions are all correct, so if you spot any errors, please do leave a comment.

The book is similar in style to Zee’s Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, in that it is written for undergraduates using a relaxed and often humorous approach. My only criticism might be in the title: calling an 889-page book a ‘nutshell’ implies a very large nut.

I’m not aware of any online list of errata for this book. (There are a couple of sites that claim to be such, but don’t list more than a couple of typos.) If anyone knows of an official errata site for this book, please leave a comment below.

Part 0: Setting the Stage

Prologue: Three Stories

1, 2, 3

Part 1: From Newton to Riemann: Coordinates to Curvature

Chapter I.1: Newton’s Laws

1.2, 1.31.4, 1.5, 1.6

Chapter I.2: Conservation is Good


Chapter I.3: Rotation: Invariance and Infinitesimal Transformation

3.13.3, 3.4, 3.5

Chapter I.4: Who Is Afraid of Tensors?

4.1, 4.2

2 thoughts on “Zee: Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell

  1. gwrowe Post author

    Thanks for this. As you say, Brad Carlile’s page has only 3 (as of 9 Aug 2016) errata listed, and I’m sure there must be many more in a book of this size.
    Although Zee’s books initially come across as student-friendly, with his informal language and chatty writing style, they do tend to make conceptual jumps which sometimes leave me baffled.
    I also find it inexcusable that an author would regard any typos, especially those in the mathematics, as trivial and not worthy of correcting. If a student sees something printed in a textbook, they are likely to assume that it is correct and if they can’t get the same answer, they will spend long hours fretting over what they’ve done wrong.

    1. Adam

      The textbook is amazing. I have nearly read half of it and did not find any such conceptual jumps. If you just read parts of the book, you might have missed some sections in which he explained the things that you thought he had jumped. I find his explanations to be some of the most intuitive out there.
      You should also read I.5, I.6 and I.7 sections because he explains a great deal of stuff there before leaving differential geometry and turning to the language and philosophy of transformations.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *