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Session #3 was moved in time to 14:00 due to some students having CSC mandatory seminar.

Howdy! This page will be dedicated for the "General Relativity Marathon", a magical secret seminar that will happen every Saturday at 10:00 - 11:15 in RIII Seminar Room.

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 DateTopicLink to notes/slides
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 - The invariant interval, the Minkowski geometry, Lorentz invariance, four vectors
13th OctoberCurved geometry, manifolds, tensors, principle of general covariance, forms

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