Course Description. The goal of this seminar is to understand how Einstein was led to his discovery of General Relativity and the gravitational field equations. Fundamentally, this involves the idea of "general covariance", that the laws of physics are independent of their description in any particular or preferred system of coordinates.
Tracing this path may be quite challenging. We will need to develop some quite sophisticated mathematical concepts, including manifolds and tensors, metrics and curvature. At a minimum, a solid background in vector calculus, preferably at the level of MAT 322, is required. Throughout the course, we will pay close attention to the relations between the physics and the mathematics.
A rough order of the topics to be covered is:
Instructor: Michael Anderson
Texts: There is a large variety of very good texts on this topic, and you are encouraged to search around to find books and sources that appeal to you. The main text for the course is the classic:
Class Time and Place: Tu and Th 11:20 - 12:40 a.m., Math Tower, P-131.
Americans with Disability Act. If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disabled Student Services in ECC (Educational Communications Center) Building, Room 128, (631) 632-6748. They will determine with you what accomodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.
Students requiring emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disabled Student Services. For procedures and information, go the following website: http://www.ehs.sunysb.edu/fire/disabilities/asp, here