General Relativity (GR) is the most complete and accurate theory of gravitation currently available. It plays a key role in Cosmology, describes the structure of black holes, predicts the deflection of light by gravity, and refines orbit calculations in the Solar System. GR also serves as a starting point for attempts to construct unified descriptions of physics. Upon completion of this course students should be able to solve graduate level GR problems and be able to comprehend the GR tools and techniques applied to many astrophysical research problems.

The primary text for the course will be Weinberg's *Gravitation
and Cosmology*, but the following texts will also be reserved at
the library and are useful sources for secondary readings:

- Landau, L., Lifshitz, E.:
*Classical Theory of Fields* - Misner, E., Thorne, K., and Wheeler, J.:
*Gravitation* - Weinberg, S.:
*Gravitation and Cosmology* - Will, C.:
*Theory and Experiment in Gravitational Physics*

Weeks |
Subject |
Reading |

1 | Gravity basics, Equivalence principles: relationship of
inertia & gravity |
Notes |

2, 3 | Classical scalar, tensor, and vector theories: gravity in
flat space-time |
Notes |

4, 5 | Connections, Metrics, Geodesic equation: coordinates in
curved space-time, free-fall trajectories of particles &
photons |
Ch. 3 |

6, 7 | Tensors, Parallel transport, Covariance: geometrical
objects & derivatives |
Notes |

8 | Stress tensor, Fluids: models of mass-energy in GR |
Ch. 5 |

9, 10 | Curvature tensor, Field equation: how mass-energy curves
space-time |
Ch. 6, 7 |

11, 12 | Spherically symmetric solutions, Classical tests:
Schwarzschild metric, black holes, Solar-System predictions |
Ch. 8 |

13 | Gravitomagnetic solutions: weak-field limit, dragging of
inertial frames |
Notes |

14 | Gravitational radiation: properties, astrophysical
sources, detectors |
Notes |

Joshua E. Barnes (barnes@ifa.hawaii.edu) Last modified: April 23, 2002