Spring 2012

General Relativity.

Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as PHYS-460


Kannan Jagannathan (Section 01)


The course is an elementary introduction to Einstein's theory of gravity.  After a brief review of the special theory of relativity, we will investigate vector and tensor fields in terms of their properties under changes of coordinates.  Geometric ideas such as geodesics, parallel transport, and covariant differentiation will be studied.  The Principle of Equivalence will be presented as the central physical principle behind Einstein's theory of gravity.  After an introduction to the stress tensor, the field equations will be stated and the simplest solutions to them obtained.  Physical implications of the theory for the motion of planets and light in the vicinity of massive stars will be derived.  Classical cosmology and gravitational radiation will round out a traditional presentation of the subject. 

Requisite: PHYS 225 or consent of the instructor.  Spring semester.  Professor Jagannathan.   


Quantitative Reasoning


2017-18: Offered in Spring 2018
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012