Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

ASTR 4445: Intro to General Relativity

Credit Hours4
Cross-listed with

PHYS 4445


Instructor: L. McAllister

Classical mechanics at the level of PHYS 3314 or PHYS 3318 and special relativity at the level of PHYS 1116 or PHYS 2216. Also, electromagnetism at the level of PHYS 3323 or PHYS 3327 is useful. Offered as an alternative to the more comprehensive, two-semester graduate sequence PHYS 6553 and PHYS 6554.

Typically OfferedFall

One-semester introduction to general relativity that develops the essential structure and phenomenology of the theory without requiring prior exposure to tensor analysis. General relativity is a fundamental cornerstone of physics that underlies several of the most exciting areas of current research, including relativistic astrophysics, cosmology, and the search for a quantum theory of gravity. The course briefly reviews special relativity, introduces basic aspects of differential geometry, including metrics, geodesics, and the Riemann tensor, describes black hole spacetimes and cosmological solutions, and concludes with the Einstein equation and its linearized gravitational wave solutions. At the level of Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein’s General Relativity by Hartle.