ACM40750 Gen Relativity & Black Holes

Academic Year 2021/2022

The course is intended as an elementary introduction to general relativity, Einstein’s theory of gravitation, and the new insights that it provides into the nature of space-time. The lectures will review Newtonian gravitation, physics in curved space-time and the Einstein field equations. It will study the applications of general relativity to planetary motion, the bending of light, the existence of black holes, gravitational waves, and the expansion of the universe.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Explain the equivalence principle.
Understand local inertial coordinates.
Perform calculations in tensor calculus in curved space-time.
Derive the Einstein field equations.
Understand the connection between geodesics and curvature.
Determine black hole solutions.
Understand the three classical test of General Relativity.
Expalin the Kruskal extension to the Schwarzschild solution and the structure of black holes.
Derive the linear approximation and its application to gravitational waves.
Derive the Robertson-Walker solution for an expanding universe.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Differential Geometry (ACM40090)

Learning Exclusions:

PHYC40120 - General Relativity & Cosmology

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
PHYC40120 - General Relativity & Cosmology

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Take-home assignments and in-class tests Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: End of semester exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Graded assignments will be returned to students and solutions will be discussed during tutorials.

Name Role
Dr Anna Heffernan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Vojtech Witzany Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Mon 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Mon 17:00 - 17:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Thurs 15:00 - 15:50