Physics 225A, General Relativity, Fall 2013

Professor: John McGreevy
Office: 5222 Mayer Hall
mcgreevy at
Office Hours: Mondays after lecture -- 4:00, or by appointment. Thursday before colloquium is also often a good time to find me.  

Homework and solutions
Lecture notes and other materials
Announcements Date
I posted the solutions for the final problem set. Please come by my office and pick up any homeworks you have not collected.

Thanks for a fun class and a special thanks to those of you who helped decrease the number of typos in the notes and homeworks.

Please submit a course evaluation for 225A here. Your feedback is important to me and to future students. The deadline to submit your evaluation is Monday, December 9 at 11:59 PM. 2013.11.27
I am planning to hold lecture on Wednesday, despite the holiday the Thursday. Perhaps I will try to make it more flaky than usual.

Note, however, that problem set 8 is due next Monday (December 2).

For once, I was correct about a sign. Please see the solutions to problem set 7, number 2. 2013.11.20
I learned today that next Monday is a holiday. So problem set 6 is due on Wednesday, November 13. 2013.11.06
I corrected an error in the solutions of the last problem of problem set 1. Thanks to Shenglong Xu for pointing it out. 2013.11.04
I have postponed the last two problems on problem set 5 until problem set 6. 2013.10.30
I made an important correction to the stereographic projection problem on problem set 4. Thanks to Frederick Matsuda again. 2013.10.24
I posted some small corrections to problem set 4 (factors of c in problems 1,2 and a redefinition of e in problem 3). Thanks to Tom Zick and Frederick Matsuda for bringing them to my attention. I also added an optional third part of the last problem. 2013.10.23
I posted some small corrections to problem set 2 problem 6. Thanks to Frederick Matsuda and Daniel Walsh for bringing them to my attention.

I also posted some improvements to the solutions of problem set 1.

On the homework page I've posted some great animations made by Daniel Walsh of the answer to problem set 1 problem 4b, which can be succinctly restated as: what do you see when you look out of a fast-moving spaceship? 2013.10.08
On pages 22-23 of the lecture notes I added a sidebar in an attempt to remove the confusion about translating expressions involving Lorentz transformations into matrix equations. 2013.10.07
I posted the second problem set. It has some more special relativity problems which I think will be helpful.

I also corrected the time of my office hours above -- I had made a subtraction error.

I posted the first problem set. It is due next Monday, Oct 7. 2013.09.29
Welcome to Physics 225A! Please look at the administrative information posted on the lecture notes and handouts page. Some highlights are listed below.

A comment about the waitlist: the enrollment for the course is limited at present by the size of MH5301. This is a good room, which I would like to use if we can. If the enrollment continues to be too large for this room, we will find a larger space.


Spacetime coordinates of lecture: MW 2:00-3:20, Mayer Hall 5301

Text: My lecture notes.
Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell by A. Zee.

Other possibly useful texts, most of which have been placed on reserve at S&E Library, include:

General Relativity by Robert Wald
Introducing Einstein's Relativity by Ray D'Inverno
Spacetime and geometry: an introduction to general relativity by Sean Carroll.
Gravity: an introduction to Einstein's general relativity, James B. Hartle.
The Classical Theory of Fields , volume 2 (red) of Landau and Lifshitz.

Homework: Yes. Due in class (or dropped off earlier).

Exams: No.