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Physics 561: General Relativity


Course Outline

Introduction and Review of Special Relativity:Inertial frames, Galilean transformation, noninertial frames, Mach’sprinciple, Lorentz transformation and Poincare group, Newtonianmechanics in arbitrary coordinates, electrodynamics.

Riemannian geometry:Space-time as curved manifold, coordinate transformations, tensorcalculus, tetrads and coordinate-free forms, parallel and Fermi-Walkertransport, curvature tensor, Ricci and Weyl tensor, Bianchi Identities,Lie-derivatives, Killing vectors and symmetry, spatial slicing andlocal inertial frames

Physics in curved space times:Particle trajectories, photon trajectories, null coordinates, covariantfield equations, hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, kinetic theory

General Relativity:Principles of equivalence, Einstein field equations, stress-energy,tensor, variational principle, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations,3+1 decomposition, mass and energy, conservation laws, symmetries,asymptotic flatness

Special Solutions:Schwarzschild solution, Kruskal and Penrose diagrams,Resissner-Nordstrom solution, event horizon, black hole, white hole,wormhole, Kerr-Newman solutions, rotating hole and ergosphere, draggingof inertial frames, Lense-Thirring effect, no-hair theorems,singularities, photon and particle orbits, Robertson-Walker metric andFriedmann cosmological models, particle horizon, Kasner metric,gravitational collapse

Tests of General Relativity: Weak fields and PPN formalism, solar system tests, binary pulsar and other tests, GPB

Gravitational radiation: linearized waves, polarization, generation, g-wave detectors, binary pulsar, LIGO and LISA


Typical Organization

Lectures T Th 10:50 - 12:05 PM

Homework (70%)

Quiz (5%)

Final exam (25%)

Text: Hobson, Efstathiou, and Lasenby  General Relativity


All information is representative only, and is likely to change from year to year.