Univ. Bremen
PD Dr. V. Perlick
Introduction to General Relativity and Cosmology
(S2, compulsory, 9 ECTS)
Learning Outcomes:Students should get a first introduction into the mathematics underlying General Relativity, and learn the equations motion for point particles and light rays, the electromagnetic field, and the Einstein equations.
Understanding the evolution of the Universe in the framework of General Relativity. Overview of the observations and their implications for the cosmological model.
Knowledge and Understanding:

Applying Knowledge and Understanding:
PrerequisitesBachelor courses on Theoretical Physics
Program– Manifolds, coordinate systems
– metric, Lie derivative
– covariant derivative, parallel transport
– geodesic equation
– covariant wave equation, Maxwell equations
– Einstein’s field equation
– Schwarzschild solution
– weak field approximation
Description of the evolution of the Universe, the observational status of cosmology, and the future of the Universe. In more detail:
– historical introduction
– cosmology in the framework of Einstein’s General Relativity, Robertson-Walker models
– Friedmann-Lemaitre equations and their solutions
– observations (COBE, WMAP, Planck, SN Ia), restriction of the cosmological parameters
– the early Universe, inflation
– the late Universe, dark energy
– cosmology beyond Robertson-Walker models:
perturbation theory, Bianchi models
Description of how the course is conducted– Contact hours (lecture + exercise): 56 h (4 h x 14 weeks)
– Preparation, learning, exercises: 56 h (4 h x 14 weeks)
– Preparation for exam: 158 h
Total working hours: 270 h
Description of the didactic methods
Description of the evaluation methodsWritten exam, oral exam, or study work
Adopted Textbooks– Ch. W. Misner, K. S. Thorne, and J.A. Wheeler:
Gravitation, Freeman and Co., San Francisco 1973
– R. Wald: General Relativity, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London 1984.
– H. Stephani: Relativity – an Introduction to Special and General Relativity, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2004.
– V. Mukhanov: ”Physical foundations of cosmology” Cambridge UP (2005)
– G. Ellis, R. Maartens, M. MacCallum: ”Relativistic
Cosmology” Cambridge UP (2012)
Recommended readings