Undergraduate Course: General Relativity (PHYS11010)
Course Outline
School  School of Physics and Astronomy 
College  College of Science and Engineering 
Credit level (Normal year taken)  SCQF Level 11 (Year 5 Undergraduate) 
Availability  Available to all students 
SCQF Credits  10 
ECTS Credits  5 
Summary  General Relativity presents one of the most interesting intellectual challenges of an undergraduate physics degree, but its study can be a daunting prospect. This course treats the subject in a way which should be accessible not just to Mathematical Physicists, by making the subject as simple as possible (but not simpler). The classic results such as light bending and precession of the perihelion of Mercury are obtained from the Schwarzschild metric by variational means. Einstein's equations are developed, and are used to obtain the Schwarzschild metric and the RobertsonWalker metric of cosmology. 
Course description 
Not entered

Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  None 
Course Delivery Information

Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1)

Quota: None 
Course Start 
Semester 2 
Timetable 
Timetable 
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) 
Total Hours:
100
(
Lecture Hours 22,
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 11,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Revision Session Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
61 )

Assessment (Further Info) 
Written Exam
100 %,
Coursework
0 %,
Practical Exam
0 %

Additional Information (Assessment) 
Degree Examination, 100% 
Feedback 
Not entered 
Exam Information 
Exam Diet 
Paper Name 
Hours & Minutes 

Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)  General Relativity  2:00  
Learning Outcomes
1)Discuss the role of mass in Newtonian physics, & inertial forces, & state and justify the principle of equivalence; define a local inertial frame
2)Define the metric tensor (& inverse), & interpret as gravitational potentials
3)Derive the geodesic equation from the principle of equivalence; derive the affine connections
4)State the Correspondence Principle & the Principle of General Covariance; calculate the special relativistic & Newtonian limits of GR equations; Derive Einstein's equations & justify them in empty space, & with matter; Discuss & justify the inclusion of a cosmological constant
5)Define a tensor; define & use appropriate tensor operations, including contraction, differentiation; Discuss the need for a covariant derivative & derive it; Define parallel transport, curvature tensor; Discuss the relation of curvature to gravity & tidal forces; derive the curvature tensor
6)Derive gravitational time dilation & redshift, precession of Mercury's perihelion, light bending, radar time delays, cosmological redshift, horizons; Discuss & apply the concept of proper times
7)Show the equivalence of the variational formulation of GR & the geodesic equation; derive the EulerLagrange equations; apply them to metrics such as the Schwarzschild & RobertsonWalker, to obtain affine connections, conserved quantities & equations of motion
8)Derive & sketch effective potentials in GR & Newtonian physics; examine qualitative behaviour; analyse to find features such as the minimum stable orbit
9)Write down the Schwarzschild & RobertsonWalker metrics; describe the meaning of all terms; Solve Einstein's equations to derive both metrics & the Friedman equation
10)Discuss gravitational waves; derive their wave equation
11)Discuss metric singularities (& relate to Black Holes), event horizons & infinite redshift surfaces
12)Apply the general techniques to solve unseen problems, which may include analysis of previously unseen metrics

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 
Not entered 
Keywords  GenRe 
Contacts
Course organiser  Prof Andy Taylor
Tel: (0131) 668 8386
Email: ant@roe.ac.uk 
Course secretary  Miss Paula Wilkie
Tel: (0131) 668 8403
Email: Paula.Wilkie@ed.ac.uk 

