6 ECTS credits
180 h study time
Offer 1 with catalog number 4015691FNR for all students in the 1st semester at a (F) Master - specialised level.
Based on (parts of) the book by Robert Wald mentioned below, which is used in class.
In the first half of the course, the formalism of general relativity is built up. We will focus on developing the necessary concepts from differential geometry (such as manifolds and curvature). In this language, Einstein’s description of the gravitational force is formulated.
In the second half of the course, we pay attention to experimental tests of the theory and to important physical applications: gravitational waves, cosmology and black holes. Some attention is devoted to questions left unanswered by the theory and to modern developments in gravitational research.
Students taking the course should ideally have seen the notions below already. There will be reminders during the lecture or during the exercise sessions.
Physics: Special relativity (4-vector notation, Einstein index notation, Minkowski spacetime, motion of free particles, lightcones)
Analytical mechanics (lagrangian formulation)
Maths: Linear algebra (vector spaces, bases, linear maps, matrices, dual spaces)
Multivariable calculus (gradient, directional derivatives, multivariable integrals, change of variables formula)
Topology (open and closed sets, continuity, topological spaces)
The student can explain and derive important concepts and results in general relativity, Einstein's description of gravity.
They can apply the theory to new physics problems.
They are able to situate this theory within modern physics. For instance, they can explain that Newton’s theory of gravity can be viewed as a limit of general relativity and that the latter does not answer all questions about gravity either.
The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Oral Exam determines 100% of the final mark.
Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:
Final grade determined using:
- Oral exam with written preparation. The exam consists of theory as well as exercises.
This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of Photonics Engineering: On campus traject
Master of Photonics Engineering: Online/Digital traject
Master of Physics and Astronomy: Minor Research
Master of Physics and Astronomy: Minor Economy and Business
Master of Physics and Astronomy: Minor Education
Master of Teaching in Science and Technology: fysica (120 ECTS, Etterbeek) (only offered in Dutch)