Skip to main content

PX436 notes

Here is a complete version of the lecture notes for the 2016-2017 version of the module as a single pdf file. PX436 notes(PDF Document) Latest update 3rd October 2016. I will try to add more problems and solutions to more of the existing ones if they are requested.

I am retaining below the lecture notes for the previous version of the module, which you will hopefully also find useful. Please do bear in mind, however, that my notational conventions, presentation of material, and exact choice of topics differs in some places from this previous version of the course.

[Gareth Alexander, 3rd October 2016]

I will put PDF files of my lecture notes (i.e. those I use in lectures) here. Note that I've inherited these from the previous lecturer (Tom Marsh), but I'll be following the same structure/content, so the notes remain valid. Since they are the ones I use in lectures they are very brief and no substitute for books. Please inform me asap if you spot an error. This is yet another reason for looking at books which have been checked by editors and in some cases by many readers following years of use.

Note that these notes have yet to be updated for the 2013-2014 academic year. If you regularly download these, please try to do so as late as possible because I may change them at any time; I will try to flag up any such changes.

Each chapter of the notes corresponds approximately to one lecture, but the correspondence is not exact.

Here is a file of all the notes, and here they are, chapter by chapter:

Lecture 1 Introduction
Lecture 2 First lecture summarising special relativity
Lecture 3 Second special relativity lecture
Lecture 4 Vectors and one-forms. (Note, the last transform in section 4.5 is incorrect - can you see why?)
Lecture 5 Tensors.
Lecture 6 Stress-energy tensor.
Lecture 7 Generalised coordinates.
Lecture 8 Metrics.
Lecture 9 The connection.
Lecture 10 Parallel transport.
Lecture 11 Geodesics.
Lecture 12 Curvature.
Lecture 13 Einstein's field equations.
Lecture 14 Schwarzschild geometry.
Lecture 15 Schwarzschild equations of motion.
Lecture 16

Schwarzschild orbits (Note: material in sections 16/17/18 may be rearranged and merged into two lectures)

Lecture 17 Precession and photon orbits.
Lecture 18 Deflection of light.
Lecture 19 Schwarzschild black-holes.
Lecture 20 FRW metric.
Lecture 21 Dynamics of the Universe.
Lecture 22 Cosmological distances.
Lecture 23 Linear GR.
Lecture 24 Gravitational waves.
Lecture 25 Detecting gravitational waves (slides).
Lecture 26 Observational Evidence for GR. (Summary provided for information - probably won't be seen in lectures)

That's all folks!