96397 - Relativity

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows the main elements of special relativity and general relativity, the main experimental tests in their support, and the geometric interpretation in terms of spacetime. In particular, the student is familiar with relativistic mechanics as well as the use of Einstein's equations for studying gravitational waves, black holes and the main cosmological solutions.

Course contents

1. Priniciples of special relativity and Lorentz transformations

2. Minkowski spacetime

3. Relativistic dynamics

4. Maxwell's equations in covariant form

5. Equivalence principle and physical foundations of general relativity

6. Curved spaces, Riemannian manifolds, geomety of space-time

7. Dynamics in a gravitational field, Einstein's equations

8. Experimental evidences and applications of general relativity

9. Elements of black hole theory


Lecture notes

S. Weinberg, Gravitation and Cosmology, Wiley, New York, 1972

H. Ohanian and R. Ruffini: Gravitation and Spacetime, CUP, 2013

Teaching methods

Blackboard lectures

Assessment methods

Oral exam

Office hours

See the website of Fiorenzo Bastianelli