Physics 617, Spring 617

Course Information:

Prof. Matthew Buckley (office: Serin W329,

Lectures: Wednesdays/Fridays 10:20-11:40, Serin E385

Office Hours: TBD

Course Description

This is a graduate course in general relativity. We will cover the mathematical framework behind Einstein's theory, the formulation of Einstein's equations, the Schwarzschild and Kerr metrics, gravitational radiation, and cosmology. The textbook for the course is Spacetime and Geometry by Sean Carroll (2003, Pearson ISBN 978-0805387322). 

Additional texts that may be of use to students are General Relativity by Robert Wald and Gravitation by Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler (i.e. the giant black book about gravity). Neither are required for the course. 


  • Grades will be based on weekly problem sets (100% of final grade).
  • Weekly homework will be assigned on Friday in class and due on the following Friday in class.
  • Collaboration with other students is strongly encouraged, but your write-up of the solutions must be your own. You must also cite any external sources you use (other than the textbook).
  • Ideally, solutions should be typed (in LaTeX), but handwritten solutions are acceptable as long as they are clearly written.
  • In general, late homework will automatically receive a maximum of half points. Seek arrangement with me at least 24 hours in advance if you think you have a legitimate excuse for late work. After I have posted solutions for a homework, I will not accept submissions for that assignment.

Student Accommodations

If you require special accommodation in the course, please speak with me as early in the semester as possible. Visit this link for information on Rutgers policies.

Course Schedule

(Subject to Change)

  • TBA


(image credit: NASA/JPL)