This book, suitable for interested post-16 school pupils or undergraduates looking for a supplement to their course text, develops our modern view of space-time and its implications in the theories of gravity and cosmology. While aspects of this topic are inevitably abstract, the book seeks to ground thinking in observational and experimental evidence where possible. In addition, some of Einstein’s philosophical thoughts are explored and contrasted with our modern views.

Written in an accessible yet rigorous style, Jonathan Allday, a highly accomplished writer, brings his trademark clarity and engagement to these fascinating subjects, which underpin so much of modern physics.


  • Restricted use of advanced mathematics, making the book suitable for post-16 students and undergraduates
  • Contains discussions of key modern developments in quantum gravity, and the latest developments in the field, including results from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)
  • Accompanied by appendices on the CRC Press website featuring detailed mathematical arguments for key derivations

chapter |3 pages


chapter 1|22 pages

Four Keystones

chapter 2|28 pages

The Road to Relativity

chapter 3|29 pages

The Theory of Special Relativity

chapter 4|25 pages


chapter 5|26 pages

Mass, Energy and Dust

chapter 6|17 pages

Generalising Relativity

chapter 7|30 pages

The Theory of General Relativity

chapter 8|22 pages

Weak Field Gravitation

chapter 9|25 pages

Space-time in the General Theory

chapter 10|30 pages

Black Holes

chapter 11|24 pages

Gravitational Waves

chapter 12|30 pages


chapter 13|26 pages

Quantum Considerations