PH30101: General relativity

[Page last updated: 21 April 2022]

Owning Department/School: Department of Physics
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Period:
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Assessment Detail:
• Examination (EX 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before or while taking this module you must take AT LEAST 1 MODULE FROM {PH10103, PH20076, PH20106, PH20114} AND take AT LEAST 1 MODULE FROM {PH20016, PH20076, PH20106, PH20114} AND take AT LEAST 1 MODULE FROM {PH20020, PH20107, MA20223}
Learning Outcomes: After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* deduce the motion of particles and light from given spacetime metrics;
* account for the different predictions of general relativity and Newtonian gravity;
* explain the properties of static and rotating black holes;
* appreciate the problems of interfacing general relativity and quantum theory.

Aims: The aims of this unit are to provide an understanding of curved spacetime in general relativity, based on metrics that describe static and rotating black holes, with some appreciation of quantum gravity.

Skills: Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.

Content: Gravity and relativity: review of special relativity and Newtonian gravity, the equivalence principle, curved spacetime, the classical tests of GR, geodesic equations of motion.
The Schwarzschild metric: orbits, perihelion advance, deflection of light, static black holes, the event horizon, the singularity.
The Kerr metric: rotating black holes, frame dragging, the ergoregion.
Quantum gravity: black hole thermodynamics, Hawking radiation, current theories of everything.

Programme availability:

PH30101 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
• USPH-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 3)
• USPH-AAB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
• USPH-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
• USPH-AFM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 3)
• USPH-AFM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Research placement (Year 3)
• USPH-AAM14 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
• USPH-AKM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional Placement (Year 4)
• USPH-AKM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 4)
• USPH-AAM15 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad and Research Placement (Year 4)

PH30101 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
• USXX-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 3)
• USXX-AAB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
• USXX-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
• USPH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Physics (Year 3)
• USPH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
• USPH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
• USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 3)
• USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 3)
• USPH-AAM12 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
• USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 4)
• USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 4)
• USPH-AAM13 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad and Research Placement (Year 4)
• USXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 3)
• USXX-AAM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
• USXX-AKM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)

 Notes: This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23. Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures. Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules. Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.