• Offered by Physics Education Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Physics
  • Areas of interest Theoretical Physics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Susan Scott
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

With the spectacular first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015, GR is now arguably the most successful theory of modern physics. This third year physics course provides an introduction to the concepts and tools of general relativity theory (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.

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements for this course 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. Describe the fundamental properties of gravitational waves;
  5. Evaluate methods to detect gravitational waves on Earth.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment is based on:
  • Assignments (50%; LO 1-5)
  • Final written exam (50%; LO 1-5)

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.

Workload

Three one hour lectures per week plus a weekly drop-in session

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have previously completed PHYS3102. This course is incompatible with PHYS3002.

Preliminary Reading

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

Assumed Knowledge

Familiarity with multi-dimensional calculus is assumed.

Specialisations

Fees

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

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and 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). You can find your student contribution amount for each course 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
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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
8557 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person N/A

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