AST 2070S General Relativity II: Applications Cosmology

AST 2070F General Relativity II: Applications and Cosmology
Charles C. Dyer
Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics
University of Toronto

This course follows the Introduction to General Relativity with study of the applications of General Relativity to Astrophysics and Cosmology. To consider these applications, the necessary further topics in General Relativity will be covered in the course.

There is no single text prescribed, but specific texts and journal articles are referred to as appropriate. Where appropriate, notes are provided on the course web-site.

The course concentrates on the applications of relevance to Astrophysics and Cosmology, and includes a detailed introduction to the theory of black holes and related condensed ob jects. The main emphasis is on the study of the large scale structure of the universe, using the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker models as the simplest cases. More exotic models are also considered, such as those with non-trivial topological structure. Relations among various observational quantities are derived and studied, with reference to presently available data, to understand the methods and limits on the study of large scale structure at present. Since the propagation of photons forms the basis of most of our observations, the optical scalar equations and gravitational lens theory are studied in some detail. The occurrence of singularities and horizons is considered, and the origin and growth of structure is considered, with reference to the presently available data. The interaction of particle physics and classical relativity is considered, and leads to an introduction of the ideas of inflationary theories of cosmology, and similar recent developments, including dark matter and dark energy.

Student presentations will used to cover some of the material. The choice of student presentations will result in some further flexibility in the topics covered.

Evaluation will b e as follows: (This remains sub ject to final confirmation)
1. 45% Formal presentation and write-up
2. 10% Class participation / discussion
3. 45% Final oral exam on lecture material, topic presented plus two other students’ topics

Course web-site: odarragh.astro.utoronto.ca/GR-II.html
This will be the place to find information about the course, including schedule of presentations. Please check it regularly. In addition, it provides a link to some notes on GR, and a list of past student presentation topics, which can be used to help decide on a topic for the student presentation for the course. The web-site for GR-I, the Introduction to General Relativity course given in the fall term, provides some notes and a list of useful texts, and similar materials.
It is at: odarragh.astro.utoronto.ca/GR-I.html
Access to some of this material may require a username/password, which will be supplied to students in the course.