Lecture 1, Lecture 2, Lecture 3, Lecture 4, Lecture 5, Lecture 6, Lecture 7, Lecture 8, Lecture 9,
Lecture 10, Lecture 11, Lecture 12, Lecture 13, Lecture 14, Lecture 15, Lecture 16, Lecture 17,
Lecture 18, Lecture 19, Lecture 20, Lecture 21, Lecture 22, Lecture 23, Lecture 24, Lecture 25,
Lecture 26, Lecture 27, Lecture 28 (Last).
Weekly homework assignments are due every Thursday. In order to learn the subject, it is extremely important that you complete the homework.
Our understanding of nature basically rests on two fundamental pillars: General relativity and Quantum Mechanics. This course is designed to outline and cover one of those pillars: the theory of general relativity, its precursor, special relativity, and its application to the description and understanding of the universe.
We shall describe the developments that led to special relativity, and its implications about the nature of space and time. We shall also study some of the striking phenomena that it predicts, like time dilation and length contraction, and with some of the paradoxes that relativity seems to imply. The marriage of special relativity and quantum mechanics results in quantum field theory, a framework that succesfully accounts for all non-gravitational interactions known to us.
But special relativity has nothing to say about gravitation. This is what led Einstein to extend his special theory of relativity to general relativity, which is a theory of gravity and much more. We will explore the conceptional foundations of general relativity, and some of the mathematical apparatus upon which it rests. We shall also devote some time talking about one of the most dramatic objects in general relativity: black holes and wormholes.
Finally, we shall apply general relativity to the whole universe in our study of cosmology. We shall see that the universe can have different shapes, and how observations determine what the shape of our universe is. Using the equations of general relativity we will be able to study the evolution of the universe, its origins and its future. We shall see that, perhaps to your dismay, we only understand 5% of what the universe is actually made of.For more information, see the (preliminary) detailed content.
|Midterm||March 11, 2010||12:30pm||Physics Building 106|
|Final||May 6, 2010||3:00-5:00pm||Physics Building 106|
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