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General Relativity - MAT00046M

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  • Department: Mathematics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Kasia Rejzner
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2017-18

Module aims

The aim of the module is to give an introduction to general relativity, Einstein's theory of gravitation, and to explain how it provides a more accurate and satisfactory description of gravity than does Newtonian theory. As time permits particular topics will be selected, such as experimental tests of general relativity, black holes, and cosmology.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module you should be able to:

Appreciate the splendour of Einstein's achievement;

Understand the reasons for supposing that gravity may be modelled in terms of a curved space-time;

Appreciate how the differential geometry of surfaces in three dimensions may be generalised to give a theory of an n-dimensional curved space with metric, and to understand those parts of Riemannian geometry and the tensor calculus needed to follow the arguments leading to Einstein's equations;

Understand the conditions under which Einstein's theory reduces to the Newtonian Theory as a first approximation;

Derive the differential equations for an orbit in a spacetime of sufficient symmetry.


Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
General Relativity
2 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
General Relativity
2 hours 100

Module feedback

Information currently unavailable

Indicative reading

R d'Inverno, Introducing Einstein's Relativity, Oxford University Press (paperback) (U 0.11 DIN)

L P Hughston and K P Tod, An Introduction to General Relativity, Cambridge University Press (U 0.11 TOD).

M Ludvigsen, General Relativity: a geometric approach, Cambridge University Press (S.82 LUD).

W Rindler, Essential Relativity, Springer-Verlag (U 0.11 RIN).

S Weinberg, Gravitation and Cosmology, Wiley (U 0.11 WEI).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.