Physics 171
Fall 2009
General Relativity
University of California at Santa Cruz
Mon/Wed 10:00 AM to 11:45pm, ISB 231 B210
TEXT: J.B. Hartle, `Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity'
Instructor: Michael Dine
Office: 323 ISB
Phone: (831) 459-3033
Office Hours:
2:00 - 4:00 Tues
And by appointment if necessary
(Homework Due in Physics office by 4:30 pm on due date)
Einstein's General Relativity is one of the outstanding accomplishments of twentieth century physics. In the twenty-first century, understanding the very early history of the universe and the features of the universe on the largest scales stands as one of the great challenges in science. While often described as obscure, General Relativity is accessible to students with experience with advanced calculus and special relativity. While our time is limited, we will gain enough understanding to study black holes and the big bang.


Lecture 1: Introduction

Differentials, metrics, transformations.

Handout: Vectors (also for 139B Students)

Handout: Meaning of the Action Principle

Handout: Four Vectors

Notes from lecture on geodesic equation

Constructing local Lorentz frames

The Kepler Problem With and Without General Relativity

Black Hole Metrics: Eddington-Finkelstein and Kruskal

Curvature: The Einstein Equations and Applications to Cosmology

The Big Bang: How Close Can We Come (The Final Lecture) -->

Homework Assignments and Exam Solutions