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General Relativity and Cosmology

Lecturer: Dr Eugene Lim 

Semester: 2

Credit level: 6

Credit value: 15


Physics (UBSH3CSPH)
MSci (Physics) (UMSH4CSPH)
Physics with a Year Abroad (UBSH4CSPD)
Physics with Medical Applications (UBSH3CMPHMA)
Physics with Astrophysics (UBSH3CMPHAS)
Physics with Theoretical Physics (UBSH3CMPHTP)
Mathematics and Physics  (UBSH3CJMMPH)
MSci in Mathematics and Physics (UMSH4CJMMPH)

Learning aims & outcomes

The aim of this optional course is to provide a first treatise on general relativity and cosmology, as a prerequisite for those students who would like to continue further studies in mathematical or theoretical particle physics.

The structure of the course is aimed at the mathematically advanced students, and skills in mathematics are essential, given that a substantial part of the course deals with tensors and other advanced mathematical concepts, such as elements of differential geometry. Some techniques used in this course, such as Lagrange equations, are also taught in greater detail in other third year courses, such as mathematical methods.


  • Mathematical tools for handling curved space
  • Metric
  • Geodesics 
  • Principle of equivalence 
  • Experimental confirmations 
  • Cosmology 
  • Robertson-Walker solution 
  • The Big Bang 
  • Einstein’s field equations 
  • Schwarzchild solution 
  • Observed effects 
  • Black holes

Weekly teaching arrangements

3 hours of lectures



Summative assessment

Details of the module's summative assessment/s
 Type Weighting Marking model
Written exam (3 hours) May/June 100% Model 2. Double Marking

Formative assessment


e-Learning: 6CCP3630 on KEATS 

Suggested reading/resources

  • B.F. Schutz, A first course in General Relativity (Cambridge Univ. Press 1st edition 1985, 2nd edition 2009)
  • E. Taylor and J.A. Wheeler, Exploring Black Holes (Addison Wesley Longham 2000)



24 November 2017


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