Robert Geroch’s lecture notes on general relativity are unique in three main respects. First, the physics of general relativity and the mathematics, which describes it, are masterfully intertwined in such a way that both reinforce each other to facilitate the understanding of the most abstract and subtle issues. Second, the physical phenomena are first properly explained in terms of spacetime and then it is shown how they can be “decomposed” into familiar quantities, expressed in terms of space and time, which are measured by an observer. Third, Geroch’s successful pedagogical approach to teaching theoretical physics through visualization of even the most abstract concepts is fully applied in his lectures on general relativity by the use of around a hundred figures.
Although the book contains lecture notes written in 1972, it is (and will remain) an excellent introduction to general relativity, which covers its physical foundations, its mathematical formalism, the classical tests of its predictions, its application to cosmology, a number of specific and important issues (such as the initial value formulation of general relativity, signal propagation, time orientation, causality violation, singularity theorems, conformal transformations, and asymptotic structure of spacetime), and the early approaches to quantization of the gravitational field.
Robert Geroch, General Relativity: 1972 Lecture Notes (Minkowski Institute Press, Montreal 2013)