General Relativity (GR) is one of
the most beautiful theory ever invented! At its
core, it links a phenomenon that we all experience
-- gravity -- to the nature of spacetime itself and
the energy and matter it contains. Using an elegant
mathematical framework, GR details both how the very
fabric of spacetime reacts to the presence of large
matter concentrations, and how the latter evolve
within this curved spacetime. GR has been extremely
successful at describing observations from a range
of length scales spanning over 30 orders of
magnitude from the size of the observable universe
to tabletop-sized experiments here on Earth.
Recently, the first direct detection of
gravitational waves has allowed us to directly probe
GR near the event horizon of a black hole. Join me
on this epic journey ton unveil the nature of
spacetime itself!

This class is aimed at senior undergraduates and
graduate students. In the first part of the course,
we will establish the physical and mathematical
language necessary to have grownup conversations
about GR. This includes discussing four-vectors and
index notations, reviewing Special Relativity and
Lorentz transformation, introducing the metric and
its related tensors, and discussing general
coordinate systems. With this foundation
established, the second part of the course will
focus on the structure of curved spacetime and how
to describe it with the tools and concepts
introduced in the first part of the course. This
will culminate with the derivation and
interpretation of the Einstein equation, probably
the most insightful equation ever derived. The third
part of the course will cover applications of GR
such as black holes,
gravitational waves astronomy, and cosmology.

Final Exam to take place
Monday May 6th 11am-1pm in room 1140.

Monday and Wednesday 11:30am-12:45pm, in PAIS 1140.

Class format

There will required readings (4-5 pages)
before each class. These can be found in the schedule
below. In addition, on a rotating basis, students will
be asked to fill in the ``boxes'' in Moore's workbook,
and present their solutions to the class. There will
be a 5% "participation" grade associated with having
your solution (when you are assigned a box) ready to
present at class time. The rotating assignments for
Moore's boxes will posted here.

We learn a lot by casually talking about physics with
our peers. Much of the physics that I know I've
learned that way! The GR coffee hours is my attempt to
create a space where we (mostly you) can have casual
conversations about GR and physics in general without
the constraints of being in an actual class. Of
course, you can show up to ask questions about the
homework or the reading if you want. These will serve
as my "office hours". Otherwise, we will go through
key GR-related problems or discuss more advanced
topics that will (hopefully!) help you better
understand what is ``under the hood'' of GR. If you
have a spare credit hour, you can register for my PHYS
551 (graduate students) or PHYS 451 (undergraduate
students) course using the CR/NC option. You
will get the credit if you show up for at least 10
sessions.

Grab a cup of coffee (or tea!), and join me for some
interesting conversation about GR! Mondays and
Thursdays 3:00-4:00pm in PAIS 2210.

Final Projects

The list of potential topics for your Final Project
list is posted here. You are
encouraged to pursue other topics that interest you.
Consult with me in advance. Once you've chosen a
topic, please let me know by email. I won't allow
more than 2 students to choose the same topic. First
come, first serve.

Homework assignments

There will be nearly weekly assignments during the
semester. The assignments will be posted in the schedule
about 7 days before they are due. The homework must be submitted on
the UNM Canvas at 5pm on
the day it is due. Late homework policy:
homework returned in the next 24 hours after the due
date will be accepted but with 30% penalization.
After these 24 hours the
corresponding solutions will be posted here, and your
assignment won't be graded.

While I strongly
encourage you to discuss the homework
assignments with your classmates, the work you
hand in must be entirely yours.