15 Credits AUTUMN

Aims/Description: A course on Einstein┐s theory of gravity. We start with the principle of equivalence, then move on to tensors. We motivate and then write down Einstein┐s equations. We use Schwarzschild black holes, Friedmann Robertson Walker cosmology and gravitational waves as examples.Einstein invented general relativity in 1915. The theory makes a link between geometry and the presence of energy and matter. This is expressed in the principle of equivalence, which we introduce and discuss. General relativity calls for a sophisticated mathematics called differential geometry, for which an important tool set is tensors and tensor components. We spend about the first half of the course learning about this, and using the formalism to write down Einstein┐s equations. We then study solutions that have been found to correspond to black holes without spin or charge, the Friedmann Robertson Walker cosmology thought to provide a useful description of the large-scale structure of the Universe, and gravitational waves that were first detected by the LIGO experiment in 2015. The course has no formal prerequisites, but it is very mathematical. Familiarity with special relativity will be helpful, but is not required.

Staff Contact: DAW EDWARD J
Teaching Methods: Lectures, Problem solving, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam, Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Physics and Astronomy):

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Teaching timetable


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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK