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Book description

This textbook introduces the topic of special relativity, with a particular emphasis upon light-matter interaction and the production of light in plasma. The physics of special relativity is intuitively developed and related to the radiative processes of light. The book reviews the underlying theory of special relativity, before extending the discussion to applications frequently encountered by postgraduates and researchers in astrophysics, high power laser interactions and the users of specialized light sources, such as synchrotrons and free electron lasers. A highly pedagogical approach is adopted throughout, and numerous exercises are included within each chapter to reinforce the presentation of key concepts and applications of the material.


‘Professor Greg Tallents is one of the leading researchers in the field of laser plasma interaction, especially for the radiative processes in plasmas including the relativistic effects. The book nicely describes the relativistic effects in plasmas, from the basic concepts to cutting edge scientific activities.’

Hiroyuki Daido - Senior Fellow, Institute for Laser Technology and Osaka University

‘This book commences with introductory treatments that may be covered by undergraduate courses and then comprehensively covers topics such as relativistic plasmas, free electron lasers, relativistic collisional processes and relativistic optics. I found the inclusion of introductory material useful. Here simple treatments introduce relativity, the wave equation and emission from accelerating charges. In later chapters, most of the material needed for in-depth special relativistic work is presented, including an introduction to four vectors, the transformation of electric and magnetic fields between frames and aspects of relativistic plasma physics. The early chapters are helpful in navigating the later, more research-oriented chapters. I strongly recommend the book to students and researchers seeking a presentation of introductory special relativity in the context of laser-plasma research, astrophysics and the physics of relativistic radiation sources.’

Edmond Turcu - UKRI/STFC Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

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