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CODE 90700
ACADEMIC YEAR 2023/2024
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR MAT/07
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 1° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

These lectures will give an extended presentation of General Relativity, that is the relativistic theory of gravitation published by Einstein in 1916. Besides the classical applications ot physics (cosmology, gravitational lensing, black-hole), one will stress the mathematical framework required to formulate the theory in a rigourous way (that is, pseudo-Riemannian differential geometry), as well as some further mathematical developments inspired by theory. 

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

In this course we will study some elements of differential geometry useful to rigorously formalize the theory of general relativity. More precisely, the concepts of connection and curvature in pseudo Riemannian spaces will be studied, Einstein's equations and some of their solutions will also be discussed. We will see how mathematics leads to new concepts in physics, such as black holes.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course will provide the student with all the mathematical tools necessary to formulate the conceptual basis of general relativity.

More generally, the aim is to show how mathematics and physics harmoniously speak to each other:

- on the one side, we will see why, and how, differential geometry is the right tool to give a rigourous formulation of Einstein's intuition (in particular: the equivalence principle);

- on the other side, we will see how the final formulation of the theory (Einstein equation of general relativity) yields new mathematical developments (like singularity). 

PREREQUISITES

Previous knowledge of differential geometry and special relativity will help, but these are not necessary.

All the tools of differential geoemetry needed to the undersatanding of General Relativity will be carefully introduced and explained.

As well, some basics of Special Relativity will be given.

TEACHING METHODS

In presence

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

0. Scientific and historical introduction to the theory of General Relativity.

1. Fundations of General Relativity

  • Special Relativity: Minkowski space, four-vectors, Lorentz group.
  • Pseudo-Riemannian geometry: manifolds, vector fields, connection, tensor, curvature, metric.
  • Fundations of General Relativity: trajectories in a curved space-time, Einstein equations.

​2.  Solutions and applications

  • Linearizzed theory: Newton approximation, gravitational wave.
  • Schwarzschild metric: gravitational redshift, precession of the perihelion, bending of the light and gravitational lensing, singularity and black hole.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

"General Relativity", R. M. Wald, The University of Chicago Press (1984) [THE reference, but more suitable for advanced topics].

 “Geometry, topology and physics”, M. Nakahara, IOP (1990) [for differential geometry].

"Gravitation and cosmology: principle and applications of the general theory of relativity", S. Weinberg, J. Wiley & Sons (1972) [the best reference for tensor calculus, but this book adopts an anti-geometric point of view that will not be the one of the course].

"Relativity: special, general and cosmological". W. Rindler, Oxford University Press (2006) [excellent book, especially regarding physical discussion].  

"Introduction to General Relativity", L. P. Hughston and K. P. Tod, Cambridge University Press (1990) [good introductory text].

"Corso di fisica teorica vol. 2: teoria dei campi", L. Landau, E. Lifchitz,  MIR Moscva (1989) [Synthetic presentation of the thoery, maybe not suitalbe for a first approach, but some arguments are explained in an extremly clear and concise way]. 

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Exam Board

PIERRE OLIVIER MARTINETTI (President)

SIMONE MURRO

LESSONS

LESSONS START

The class will start according to the academic calendar.

Class schedule

L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile all'indirizzo EasyAcademy.

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

Written problem to solve at home. Not marked, but obligatory to attend the oral exam.

Oral exam.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The written problem aims at studying a problem relevant for general relativity, including the computational aspect of the theory;

The oral exam aims at verifying that the basic mathematical concepts, as well as more advanced parts of the theory, have been understood and can be explained in a clear and concise way.

 

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
08/01/2024 09:00 GENOVA Esame su appuntamento
27/05/2024 09:00 GENOVA Esame su appuntamento

FURTHER INFORMATION

Students with DSA certification ("specific learning disabilities"), disability or other special educational needs are advised to contact the teacher at the beginning of the course to agree on teaching and examination methods that, in compliance with the teaching objectives, take account of individual learning arrangements and provide appropriate compensatory tools.

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