General Relativity Autumn 2023
Lecture Notes, Exercises, Solutions, and more ...
The most recent and updodate information about this course
will always be available here!
Exams
 Date and Venue: Tuesday January 30 2024, 11:00  14:00 , HS119
 Format: Written, Closed Book
 Registration in KSL: possible until Friday January 26
 Question Session: Tuesday January 23 2024, 12:15  14:00 , HS119
The Course and Lectures: How and When and Where
 General Information:

There is no need to register for this course, but if you are going to take part please send me an email (blau at itp unibe ch) so that I can set up a mailing list. Thank You!
 There is no plan to record / podcast this course.
 The schedule is:
 Monday 13h15  15h
 Tuesday 12h15  14h

The course will take place in Lecture Hall 119 and we will
start on Monday September 18 at 13h15
 Further Information: Please watch this page for the latest information about the course and the lectures!
Lecture Notes
 GR Lecture Notes Website (overview)
 [newlecturesGR.pdf] (direct link to the pdffile)
 Note:
this new version has 900+ pages (!).
Please save trees and don't print all of it at once, we will only cover some small parts of
the notes in the course
Prerequisites
 Covariant Formulation of Special Relativity (Minkowski Geometry, Lorentz Tensor Algebra etc.)
 Classical Field Theory (Action Principles for Fields)
 Multivariable Calculus
Contents
 Physical and Mathematical Foundations of General Relativity
 Equivalence Principle
 Geodesics
 Tensor Algebra and Tensor Calculus
 Riemannian Geometry and Curvature Tensor
 Physics in a Gravitational Field
 EinsteinEquations and EinsteinHilbert Action
 Selected Applications
 Solar System Tests of General Relativity
 Black Holes
 Basics of Cosmology
 ...
Rough Outline
 Week 01: Section 01
 Week 02: Section 02
 Week 03: Section 03
 Week 04: Section 04 & Section 25
 Week 05: Section 04 & Section 25
 Week 06: Section 05 & Section 26
 Week 07: Sections 05 / 06 & Sections 26 / 27
 Week 08: Sections 06 / 07 & Section 27
 Week 09: Section 08
 Week 10: Sections 19, 20, 24
 Week 11: Sections 09, 10 & Section 23
 Week 12: Sections 33  38
 Week 13: Sections 33  38
 Week 14: Sections 33  38
(note: Section XX means that I covered some bits and pieces of that section)
Exercises and Solutions
Highly Recommended Literature
 Excellent Introductory (Undergraduate) Text
 J.B. Hartle: Gravity, An introduction to Einstein's General Relativity
 Elegant Modern Slightly More Advanced Books
 R.M. Wald: General Relativity
 S. Carroll: Spacetime and Geometry, an Introduction to General Relativity
 Classics
 C.W. Misner, K.S. Thorne, J.A. Wheeler: Gravitation
 S. Weinberg: Gravitation and Cosmology
 Other Personal Favourites
 R.U. Sexl, H.K. Urbantke: Gravitation und Kosmologie
 N. Straumann: General Relativity
 S.W. Hawking, G.F.R. Ellis: The Large Scale Structure of SpaceTime
 E. Poisson: A Relativist's Toolkit
 Other Recommended Recent/New Books
 A. Zee: Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell
GR Lectures Notes on the WWW and related Online Resources
Note: the resources mentioned below are approved/recommended. If you come across, and want to use, some other
online resources, please come and show them to me (also in GR, there is much more low than highquality
stuff floating around on the WWW and it may not always be easy for you to decide at first sight which is which).
Please let me know of any broken (no longer existing) links.
 Albert Einstein:
Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie (Annalen der Physik, 1916)
 Einstein Papers Project
 GR Lecture Notes: General
 GR Lecture Notes: Black Holes
 GR Lecture Notes: Cosmology
 Was Einstein Right? (Ask Clifford M. Will!)
 GR Lecture Notes: Other
 Other Useful, Informative or Entertaining Online Resources
 Is our Universe a Black Hole? NO And since I get
asked this question again and again (as if there weren't more interesting questions), usually by people
who understand neither cosmology nor black holes, here are some links:
 Important Advice (from Nobel Laureate Gerard 't Hooft):
Contact
 Matthias Blau, Office 220a