Physics 675:
Introduction to Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology

University of Maryland, Fall 2007
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 0405)
Teaching Assistant: Ryan Behunin,, Room 4210, 301-405-6191

Textbook: Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity, by James B. Hartle
Textbook companion website:
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, or any of a number of other books. 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, .

    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. Rules:

  1. 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.
  2. You are encouraged to discuss the homework with others, however the work you turn in should be your own formulation and reflect your own understanding.
  3. Use of previous solutions is not permitted. Violation of thus rule is cause for failure of the course (or worse...). 
  4. Homework sets must show reasoning leading to the final answers in a clear and readable fashion to obtain credit.
  5. Please make sure you include your name and the homework and course numbers and staple the pages together.

Exams:  None.

Grading: The course grade will be based on the homework.

Honor pledge and academic honesty:    The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council. The Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate students.  As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course. University policy has extremely serious consequences for cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information pease visit and/or 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 pledged to uphold the Code of Academic Integrity, so no specific statement is required. As for this course in particular, please note instructions for homework above. This is perhaps a fine line to judge in some cases. Please ask Dr. Jacobson if you have any questions.