Mathematics 460, Section 500, Fall, 2011
Tensors and General Relativity
Last updated Sun 1 Jan '12
Announcements (reverse chronological order)
- Jan 1: The final exam key is now available at the proper link
below. I am sorry for the delay.
- Dec 14: Grades are posted. I will put up a solution set for the
final eventually; please come back and look at it.
- Dec 5: I will not have an office hour today. I expect to be here
Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.
- Nov 28: Announcement of next
Applied Math Undergraduate SEminar (Nov 30, room changed to BLOC 166)
(Math 442, student projects)
._. AMUSE Web
- Nov 22: Schwarzschild curvature calculations are now due NEXT
Wednesday (Nov 30).
- Nov 11: Next Monday (Nov 14) office hour will start at 4:00 (or
slightly later), not 3:00.
- Nov 8: Announcement of next
Club Meeting (Nov 14) (W. Bangerth, scientific computing)
._. Math Club Web page
- Oct 31: Reminder: Colloquium on The Accelerating
Universe (the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, with a TAMU connection),
- Oct 28: The final version of the E&M paper is now due Monday, Nov
- Oct 16: This week's Wednesday office hour will be at 3, not 4 (Oct
19). Thursday office hour is cancelled (Oct 20).
- Oct 11: Due date for final version of E&M paper extended to Nov
Note that on the intervening Wednesdays you have some heavy-duty Christoffel
calculations due, on which I strongly encourage you to work in teams.
- Special procedures for Week 4 (19-23 Sept):
I will be away all week. Prof. Philip Yasskin will handle the
course, concentrating on helping you with the
- Start work on the electromagnetism
paper. (At least read
the instructions and think about what you need to do!)
A TeX file is available for those who know
what to do with it).
- Read Chapter 4.
- Read Section 5.1 and the associated pages of the notes.
- Consult the solutions to
the second week's homework
problems. The 2009 class came up with a variety of approaches,
which I synthesized into one document.
my home page for up-to-date office hours.
Chapter on covariant derivatives and non-Abelian gauge
theories with bibliography from Aspects of Quantum Field Theory
in Curved Space-Time, S. A, Fulling, Cambridge U. P., 2008.
Electromagnetism paper ._._.
Here's the TeX file,
in case you want to import some of the questions into your own document.
It is in Plain TeX and uses
the vanilla macros.
(LaTeX users will need to make some changes.)
Homework exercises (These are not to be turned in except as
announced. Uncollected problems, or questions inspired by them, may show
up later on exams.)
- Chapter 1: 3, 5, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19 (Turn in 18 and 19 on Sept. 7.)
Also: Answer the 3 questions on pp. 5-6 of the notes (2 "canards" and one
"topic for class discussion"). If you want to use concrete numbers in the Lorentz
contraction-dilation discussion, I suggest taking speed 3/5. Turn in these essays on
("Essay" does not mean a major, multipage production, but it should be a paragraph
in intelligible English.)
- Chapter 2: 12, 13, 16, 19, 21, 22, 24, 30 (Turn in 19 and 24 on Sept.
14. It may help to do 21 before 19.)
- Chapter 3: 4, 6, 9, 13, 16, 21 (No written homework.)
- Chapter 4: None (We will not "cover" this chapter, but you will want
to read it at least superficially to assure continuity with the later
- Chapter 5: 2, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 20, 22 (No written homework.)
- Chapter 6: 7, 9, 13, 18, 23, 25, 32, 33
Also: Calculate the Christoffel symbols for the Robertson-Walker
metric (12.13). (Work in pairs! One of you should use the geodesic
Lagrangian method (see notes, pp. 41-42), and the other should check the
results with eq. (5.75). (Trade jobs halfway through.) Turn in one
paper (on Christoffel symbols) per pair on Oct. 19.) You will need the results
as input into a later
- Now find the Christoffel symbols for the static, spherically symmetric metric
(see Exercise 6.35 of Schutz or p. of notes). This time you can work in teams of
4 if you like. Due Oct. 26.
- Chapter 7: 2, 7 [omit (iii)] , 10 (See next line for instructions.
10(b): There are 4 types of symmetries: space translations, time
translation, rotations, Lorentz boosts.)
- Chapter 8: 4, 5, 9, 18 (From Chapters 7 and 8, turn in only
Exercises 7.7, 7.10, and 8.18. These are tough, so 2/3 of the points will
be "extra credit" -- that is, the actual maximum point value of all homework will
be 120, not 100. I'll accept papers
any time before the end of classes (Monday, Dec. 5).)
- Chapter 12: 1, 4, 8, 20, 21
Also: For the Robertson-Walker metric, calculate the Riemann tensor
(20 independent components), Ricci tensor, Ricci curvature scalar, and
Check that the last obeys the conservation law (contracted Bianchi
identity). (Work in pairs and turn in one paper per pair on Nov. 16.)
- Now we need all the same stuff for the static, spherically symmetric metric
(Work in teams or pairs; due Nov. 23.)
Track your grades on Blackboard
Old course home pages: Fall 2009 ._.
Spring 2008 ._. Fall 2005
Go to home pages:
Math Dept ._._.