• Offered by Research School of Physics
• ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
• Course subject Physics
• Areas of interest Physics, Theoretical Physics
• Course convener
• DisP Susan Scott
• Mode of delivery In Person
• Co-taught Course
• Offered in Second Semester 2025
• STEM Course
General Relativity (PHYS6203)

With the spectacular first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015, General Relativity theory is now arguably the most successful theory of modern physics. This course provides an introduction to the concepts and tools of GR and to its applications in cosmology, gravitational wave theory and gravitational wave detection.

The full geometric structure underpinning the theory will be developed, leading to the Einstein Field equation and an in-depth study of the Schwarzschild black hole. We will study the application of GR theory to cosmology as well as its prediction of the existence of gravitational waves and the principles of how these waves can be detected on Earth.

This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

## Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Demonstrate understanding of the mathematics underpinning manifolds, tensors, metrics, geodesics and the Riemann tensor;
2. Prove fundamental properties of, and relationships between, those mathematical elements;
3. Derive geodesics from a given metric, and derive metrics from the Einstein field equation for simple forms of the stress-energy tensor;
4. Discuss the fundamental properties of gravitational waves;
5. Evaluate methods to detect gravitational waves on Earth;
6. Develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities with application to a diverse range of problems in general relativity and gravitational physics;
7. Demonstrate high level written communication skills.

## Indicative Assessment

1. 5x Assignments-General Relativity (25) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7]
2. 3 x Assignments-Gravitational Wave Theory (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7]
3. 2 x Assignments - Principles of Detection (10) [LO 4,5,6,7]
4. Final written exam (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

• Face-to face component which may consist of 3 x 1 hour lectures per week, plus 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week.

• Approximately 82 hours of self directed study which will include preparation for lectures and other assessment tasks.

To be determined

## Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have previously completed PHYS6102 Incompatible with PHYS3203

## Prescribed Texts

NA

"A First Course in General Relativity" by B. Schutz (2nd ed., 2009)

## Assumed Knowledge

Familiarity with multi-dimensional calculus is assumed.

## Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

## Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

### Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7874 21 Jul 2025 28 Jul 2025 31 Aug 2025 24 Oct 2025 In Person N/A