Physics 675:

Introduction to Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology

University
of Maryland, Fall 2005

**Instructor**:
Ted Jacobson

Room 4115 (Physics
Bldg.), 301-405-6020, jacobson@umd.edu,
http://www.glue.umd.edu/~tajac

**Office hours:** After
class, or by appointment.

**Class meetings**: TuTh
11:00am-12:15pm (PHY 0405)

Teaching Assistant: Chris
Eling, cteling@physics.umd.edu, Room 4205A

**Textbook**:
*Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity*, by
James B. Hartle

**Textbook companion
website**: http://wps.aw.com/aw_hartle_gravity_1/

**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 self-study:
**Students desiring
a more thorough introduction to the
mathematical foundations of general relativity are invited through
self-study or study groups to work through the first six chapters of
the textbook *General
Relativity, *by
Robert M. Wald. I
will be happy to answer questions about this material.

**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/675b/ .

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.*

**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 Thursday,
Dec 15 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 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.