To provide extra help for readers (especially those studying this textbook outside of the context of a formal course), I am providing a special online student help manual. The goal of this manual is to provide readers (in any setting) some extra feedback on exercises and problems that will help keep them on track and reassure them that they are doing things correctly, without providing so much information that students taking a university course for credit could use this manual to cheat and thereby short-cut the learning process. This is a bit of a balancing act, so you will not find in this manual complete solutions to any exercises or homework problems. Rather, you will find many hints and/or short (and often partial) answers to most of the problems in the book, a few complete solutions to problems not in the book, and other guidance that should give all readers useful feedback and direction without enabling short cuts around the hard personal work that is an essential part of the learning process. I have deliberately put this information online (as opposed to in the textbook) partly to encourage all readers to make an honest effort before resorting to the manual.
I hope and intend that professors using the textbook in formal classes will find that this manual provides useful (not harmful) feedback to their students. In almost all of the exercises and problems, short answers are not even remotely equivalent to the comprehensive solutions called for (and I don’t provide answers in the handful of cases where a short answer essentially is the solution).
Also, please note that almost all of the exercises and many of the homework problems in the textbook already provide answers that will give you at least some feedback: this manual only supplements the information already provided in the book. Getting the right answer using incorrect methods is generally more difficult with this material than it would be in an introductory course, so if you arrive at the right result, chances are pretty good that you are doing things correctly. At the same time, I strongly recommend that you refer to this manual only after you have tried to work out the problem on your own.
If you are studying the book on your own and really get stuck on a problem even with the manual’s help, I invite you to send me a question via email. This will help me update the hints to better address the difficulties that readers actually have.
Click here to view or download the Online Student Manual.
You can purchase a copy directly from the publisher here.
New! Online Student Manual available here.
Thomas A. Moore has been a professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Pomona College since 1987. He does theoretical research on detecting gravitational waves using LISA (now eLISA). Send him a message.