Fall-Winter
2017
Welcome! This course will introduce you to the
mathematics and
physics of curved spacetimes. This includes Einstein's
theory of
General Relativity, humanity's current understanding of
gravitation.
Depending on your background, this may not be an easy
class, but if you
do exert the mental effort I believe you'll find the
course
intellectually rewarding!
- Class Venue: S4-623
- Class Times: Mondays 3 - 4:50 pm and Thursdays 2 - 2:50 pm (Subject to change)
- My Office: S4-718
- E-mail: yizen [dot] chu [at] gmail [dot] com
- My Office Hours: Thursday 3-4 pm; i.e., right after class in my office. (Subject to change.) You should e-mail me if you wish to set up a time to meet outside of these times.
- Jason Payne (Graduate Teaching Assistant):
- Office: S4-507
- E-mail: jasonpayne16 [at] gmail [dot] com
- Office Hours: Thursdays, 11 am - 12:50 pm
- Yi-Zen
- Disability If you have a disability that you think I should know about, and if you need special accomodations, please feel free to speak to me after class or e-mail me to set up a meeting.
- Academic Integerity You are encouraged to discuss with your classmates the material covered in class, and even work together on your assignments. However, the work you turn in must be the result of your own effort. If I find that you copied your work from some place else, you will immediately receive zero credit for that particular piece of work. If you plagarized your classmate, your classmate will also receive zero credit for her/his/their work, unless (s)he/they can prove to my satisfaction (s)he/they were unwilling participant(s) of your dishonesty.
Syllabus
and Grading Scheme
We will be covering
aspects of:
- Differential Geometry
- Lorentz Symmetry and Physics in Flat Spacetime
- Physics in Curved Spacetime
- General Relativity, including
- Cosmology
- Black Holes
- Gravitational Waves
Because I wish
to reward hard work during the semester, I will
give most weight -- 60%
of your total grade -- to the homework you turn
in. The rest of the 40% will be split evenly
between the midterm and final.
Lecture
Notes & ProblemsHomework (60%): I will assign problem sets from the lecture notes posted here. I recommend starting your homework as soon as possible -- do not wait until the day before it is due to do it! Note: I will not accept late homework -- just turn in whatever you have done at the time/day it is due. Below, AM refers to Analytical Methods Chapter 7; while GR refers to Physics in Curved Spacetime. - Due Thursday 28 September, 4 pm (i.e., right after office hours): AM Problems 7.1 through 7.18.
- Due
- Due
- Due
- Due
- Due
- Due
- Due
As inspiration/guide, you may wish to begin by checking out Moore, Cole and Berry. Final (20%) (Due Monday 8 January 2017, 11:59 pm): Write a 10-20 page paper discussing the basic physics behind the gravitational waves generated by the binary black hole inspirals and mergers aLIGO has heard to date: (from earliest to latest) GW150914, GW151226, and GW170104. Because this is a graduate-level class, the paper needs to contain detailed equations describing -- at the very minimum -- the Keplerian motion of the binary systems; their loss of energy due to gravitational radiation; as well as the backreaction of this energy loss on the frequency of the Keplerian motion and the gravitational waves emitted. Explain the bottom panel of Fig. 1 of arXiv: 1602.03837. Can you perform an order-of-magnitude estimate to argue these events indeed involved black holes? Etc. As a starting point, you may wish to read the pedagogical articles of arXiv: 1608.01940 and 1609.09349. Make sure you do not just lift material from these papers! Writing guidelines for midterm and final papers The papers should be written in English, and the font size should be 12 points. Your writing will be judged firstly by the accuracy, breadth and depth of the content; but also by the clarity of the exposition. Make sure you cite your sources carefully and provide proper credit whenever appropriate. Turn in your papers by e-mailing them to both Jason Payne and I. If you write your paper on MS Word, please convert it to Open Office format before sending it to me. Extra credit will be given if you write your paper in LaTeX; if you do, just e-mail me your TeX file. I will be teaching from my lecture notes below. The main shortcoming of my lecture notes is that there are no figures -- this is why you need to come to class, where I will supply them whenever necessary... - Lecture Notes for Differential Geometry (Chapter 7)
- Lecture Notes for Physics in Curved Spacetime and General Relativity (Coming soon!)
I will continue to
update/edit
these notes throughout the semester, so check back
regularly. Do let me
know if you find any errors, typos, etc.
Differential Geometry - A Relativist's Toolkit: The Mathematics of Black-Hole Mechanics, by Poisson (Online draft here.)
- Differential forms with applications to the physical sciences, by Flanders
- Geometrical methods of mathematical physics, by Schutz
- Analysis, Manifolds, and Physics: Part I, by Choquet-Bruhat and DeWitt-Morette
- Analysis, Manifolds, and Physics: Part II, by Choquet-Bruhat and DeWitt-Morette
- Geometry, Topology, and Physics, by Nakahara
- A Short Course in General Relativity, by Foster and Nightingale
- A First Course in General Relativity, by Schutz
- Spacetime and Geometry: An introduction to General Relativity, by Carroll (Free lecture notes here.)
- The Classical Theory of Fields, by Landau and Lifshitz
- Gravitation, by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler
- Gravitation and Cosmology: Principles and Applications of the General Theory of Relativity, by Weinberg
- General Relativity, by Wald
- Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity, by Hartle
- Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell, by Zee
- Gravity: Newtonian, Post-Newtonian, Relativistic, by Poisson and Will
- Gravitation: Foundations and Frontiers, by Padmanabhan
Cosmology
- Cosmology by Weinberg
- Introduction to Cosmology by Ryden
- An Introduction to Modern Cosmology by Liddle
- Modern Cosmology by Dodelson
- The Early Universe by Kolb and Turner
- Principles of Physical Cosmology by Peebles
- Physical Foundations of Cosmology by Mukhanov
- Cosmological Physics by Peacock
Exact Solutions
- Exact Solutions of Einstein's Field Equations, by Stephani, Kramer, MacCallum, Hoenselaers, Herlt
Problem Book
- Problem Book in Relativity and Gravitation, by Lightman, Price, Press, and Teukolsky
Software
Acknowledgements
While developing this course, I have
taken inspiration from
several of the textbooks listed above.Disclaimer
The views and opinions expressed in this page are
strictly those of
mine (Yi-Zen Chu). The contents of this page have not
been reviewed or
approved by the National Central University. |