Relativity, Gravitation and
Room 4115 (Physics Bldg.),
After class, or by appointment.
Class meetings: TuTh
11:00am-12:15pm (PHY 3301)
Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity, by James
Track 2 textbook: General Relativity, by Robert M. Wald
Supplemental notes: A Spacetime
Primer (figures here),
by T. Jacobson
and course content: Stated prerequisites: PHYS 601 and PHYS 606,
but undergraduate Lagrangian mechanics (PHYS 410) and electrodynamics (PHYS
411) should suffice. The course is an introduction suitable for a wide range
of students, including graduate students in other departments as well as
Track 2: Students desiring a more thorough introduction to the
mathematical foundations of general relativity may participate in "Track
2" study, with optional assigned reading from Wald's textbook (or other
sources) and problems. A
meeting time will be organized for a Track 2 study group.
Course web site
: Homework assignments, class notes, supplements, and solutions
will all be posted at the course web site, http://www.physics.umd.edu/grt/taj/675a/ .
E-mail: I encourage students to make use
of e-mail for quick correspondence with me regarding lecture material,
homework problems, or whatever. I will also use e-mail to communicate
with the class at large. I can often be reached at night or on weekends
by email. Students are responsible for making sure I have their correct
email address and checking their email daily. Important messages will sometimes
be sent to the class by email.
Usually assigned weekly on Thursday, and due at the beginning of class the
following Thursday. Late homework accepted only under dire circumstances.
If you know it will be impossible to turn in an assignment on time you
must discuss this with me in advance of the due date.
You are encouraged to discuss the homework with others, but what you finally
hand in should be your own work. Please make sure you include your
name and the homework and course numbers and staple the pages together. Homework
sets must show reasoning leading to the final answers in a clear and readable
fashion to obtain credit.
be determined. Perhaps a take-home mid-term and a take-home final. The official time of the final is Monday,
Dec 13, 8:00-10:00 am, so please hold that open.
Honor pledge and academic
honesty: University policy has extremely
serious consequences on matters of academic dishonesty. Please refer to
the web page www.testudo.umd.edu/soc/dishonesty.html
. The University has adopted an Honor Pledge, which is a statement undergraduate
and graduate students are asked to write by hand and sign on examinations,
papers, or other academic assignments not specifically exempted by the
instructor. The Pledge reads: "I pledge on my honor that I have not given
or received any unauthorized assistance on this assignment/examination."
In this course it is assumed that all students have entered the University
agreeing to the honor principle which would apply in general to all campus
activities, so usually no specific statement is required. As for this course
in particular, note that although you are encouraged to discuss homework
with others, the work you turn in should be your own formulation and should
reflect your own understanding. This is perhaps a fine line to judge in
some cases. Please ask Dr. Jacobson if you have any questions.
course grade will be based on the homework and, possibly, the exams, with
relative weights to be determined.