Physics 675 

Introduction to 

Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology

Instructor: Ted Jacobson
Room 4115 (Physics Bldg.), 301-405-6020,, 
Office hours: After class, or by appointment.
Class meetings: TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm (PHY 3301)

Textbook: Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity, by James B. Hartle
Textbook companion website:
Track 2 textbook: General Relativity, by Robert M. Wald
Supplemental notes: A Spacetime Primer (figures here), by T. Jacobson

Prerequisites 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 advanced undergraduates.

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, .

    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.

Homework:   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.

Exams:  To 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.

Grading: The course grade will be based on the homework and, possibly, the exams, with relative weights to be determined.

Honor pledge and academic honesty:    University policy has extremely serious consequences on matters of academic dishonesty. Please refer to the web page . 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.