General Relativity
### General Relativity (Fall '08)

Books: There is no single textbook that I'll follow. There are several
good text+reference books which will be used for various parts of the
course material:
J. Hartle, "Gravity: an introduction to Einstein's general relativity" --
easy reading, good at undergrad level.

B. Schutz, "A first course in general Relativity" -- easy reading, good at
undergrad level.

Misner, Thorne, Wheeler, "Gravitation" -- very comprehensive, graduate
level book with various useful things (incl. problems).

R. Wald, "General Relativity" -- more recent comprehensive graduate level
book, also with problems.

Landau and Lifshitz, "Classical theory of fields", Course of Theoretical
physics, vol.2 -- classic, as the others in the series.

M. Nakahara, "Geometry, Topology and Physics" -- useful for various
mathematical aspects.

Rough outline: reviewing special relativity, setting notation for curved
spacetimes, approximations to Newtonian gravity incorporated with special
relativity, general coordinate invariance and the principle of
equivalence, some differential geometry, operational descriptions of
trajectories in curved spacetimes, the example of timelike/null orbits in
the Schwarzschild spacetime, more geometry (tensors, covariant
derivatives, geodesic deviation, curvature), Einstein's equations, the
stress-energy tensor, solutions, curvature 2-form techniques, rudiments of
gravitational waves, black holes (Schwarzschild black holes, causal
structure, Kruskal and Penrose diagrams, singularities, charged black
holes, thermodynamics), the cosmological constant and deSitter space,
cosmology (basic data, homogeneity/isotropy, FRW solutions and their
cosmology, the Big-Bang singularity, a brief history of the Universe (the
standard model of cosmology), inflation).

Midsem exam, 35%,

Term-paper, 15% (no assessed homework -- incorporated into the classes
and tutorial sessions)

Endsem exam, 50%,

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