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Howdy! This page will be dedicated for the "General Relativity Marathon", a magical secret seminar that will happen every Saturday in RIII Seminar Room at a time that is usually announced here.

You can find the lecture notes prepared for this seminar here (click). They will be updated regularly.

The topic of this seminar is The theory of general relativity. I'll be updating this page with relevant material: mainly the lectures notes I'll be writing for this seminar, as well as presentation slides when needed, some resources/links/books and whatever I found to be of aid in my understanding of the theory. Let's see how this goes!

Resources I found useful in order of usefulness:

Books (all available at our Library):

  • General Relativity by Wald: Excellent book. Gets to the physics right away and introduces the maths when necessary.
  • Spacetime and Geometry by Carol: Starts introducing all the maths first. It can be a bit slow at the beginning.
  • General Theory of Relativity by P.A.M. Dirac: Extremely concise (less than 70 pages) which makes it very handy if you're already familiar with the subject. Doesn't motivate anything. Excellent for reference/revision.
  • Gravitation by Misner Thorne and Wheeler: Very nice writing which makes it entertaining to read, but it's a giant book. Uses weird notation and analogies sometimes. This book is considered "too old" by many.

Online lectures (in general: watch at 2x):

  • What is a Tensor? , What is a Manifold? , What is General Relativity? series by XylyXylyX:  Excellent, very highly recommended. The first two series introduces the mathematics with GR in mind. They're pretty long (130+ hours in total, or 60+ hours if you watch at 2x), but very comprehensive. They tend more towards the mathematical side. The last of them "What is General Relativity" is still ongoing to this date.
  • General Relativity by Alexander Maloney: A graduate course on general relativity. I enjoyed these a lot.
  • General Relativity by Leonard Suskind: Only 10 lectures. Very popular. I find them OK.

Session DateTopic
15th September

Introduction, degrees of freedom, notions of invariance, locality, field theories, motivation

22nd SeptemberSession canceled due to Jacobs Games and Alumni Homecoming
29th SeptemberSpecial relativity: Part 1 - Inertial frames, Galilean transformations, Lorentz transformations
6th OctoberSpecial relativity: Part 2 - Lorentz transformations, Lorentz invariance, four vectors
13th OctoberSpecial relativity: Part 3 - Metrics and the correct notion of distance, the invariant interval, tensors, the Minkowski metric, the geometry of SR
20th OctoberSession canceled due to organizer being away for the weekend.
27th OctoberThe Algebra of SR, worked examples and paradoxes
3rd NovemberDouble Session: Motivation to GR, the Einstein equivalence principle, the principle of general covariance, tensors
10th NovemberSession canceled due to the University Physics Competition happening  during the weekend
17th NovemberTensors, the Einstein summation convention, coordinate transformations
24th NovemberDouble Session: Pseudo-riemanian manifolds, topology
1st DecemberThe geodesic equation, the christoffel symbols, parallel transport, the covariant derivative
Winter Break
16th FebruaryReview, the covariant derivative, the metric connection, curvature
23rd FebruaryCurvature, fluid mechanics, the energy-stress tensor
2nd FebruaryThe energy-stress tensor, the Einstein tensor, the Einstein Field Equation
9th MarchDetermining the constant, the newtonian limit, symmetries, Lie derivatives and the killing equation
16th MarchThe Schwarzchild solution, the Schwarzchild blackhole, Kruzkal coordinates
23rd MarchKruzkal coordinates, conformal transformations, causal structures and Penrose diagrams
2nd April
Optional topics: The FLRW Model, the linearised EFE, the Kerr solution, the teleparallel equivalent of GR, the warp drive metric

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