NWI-NB032B
Introduction to Theory of General Relativity
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-NB032B
Credits (ECTS)3
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; Wiskunde, Natuur- en Sterrenkunde;
Lecturer(s)
Coordinator
dr. F.S. Saueressig
Other course modules lecturer
Lecturer
dr. F.S. Saueressig
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. F.S. Saueressig
Other course modules lecturer
Examiner
dr. F.S. Saueressig
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2023
Period
KW1  (04/09/2023 to 05/11/2023)
Starting block
KW1
Course mode
full-time
Remarks-
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Pre-registrationNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
Aims
  • The student understands the fundamental ideas underlying the construction of General Relativity and their conceptual and phenomenological consequences.
  • The student is familiar and can work with the most important tensors appearing in General Relativity (metric tensor, curvature tensors, stress-energy tensor).
  • The student knows the geodesic equation and can solve it in simple cases.
  • The student is familiar with Einstein’s equations and its most important solutions including Friedmann-Robertson-Walker cosmology, linearized gravitational waves, and the Schwarzschild metric.
  • The student has a basic idea of how to solve Einstein’s equations using suitable, simplifying ansätze for the spacetime metric and the stress-energy tensor.
Content
About 100 years after its first proposal, Einstein’s theory of general relativity is entering into a new exciting phase: astrophysical measurements have entered into a stage of precision cosmology where observations put stong constraints on cosmological models. Moreover, the first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015 has opened a new window for exploring the physics of the early universe and pictures of supermassive black holes publiched by the Event Horizon Collaboration put black holes at the forefront of current research. The course uses a “physics first” approach laying the foundations for understanding these developments based on first principles. In this way it touches on a wealth of frontier scientific topics including curved spacetime, black holes, gravitational waves, and cosmology.
Level

Presumed foreknowledge
It is highly recommended that students have followed "Tensors and Applications" (NWI-NB031B) as a prerequisite.
Test information
Written exam
Specifics
This course will be taught in English

This course fits in the research themes High Energy Physics and Astrophysics
Required materials
Reader
Lecture notes will be provided for each chapter of the class.

Recommended materials
Book
James B. Hartle, Gravity - An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity, Addison Wesley, San Francisco (USA), 2003.
Book
Jan-Willem van Holten, Gravitatie - van Zwaartekracht tot Kosmologie (in Dutch),
Book
Modern General Relativity: Black Holes, Gravitational Waves, and Cosmology, Mike Guidry, CUP, 2019

Instructional modes
Course

Tests
Exam
Test weight1
Test typeExam
OpportunitiesBlock KW1, Block KW2