*New Course this Fall*

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 15:00 - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 16:30
Professor Gary Gibbons, University of Pennsylvania


Prerequisites: A first course in general relativity, including the idea of a Lie derivative and Killing vector fields

The course will start with a heuristic account of the Chandrasekhar limit for white dwarfs and the maximum mass of neutron stars. This motivates the study of spheri- cally symmetric gravitational collapse and the introduction of Eddington-Finkelstein and Krusakl coordinates. Causal structure is illustrated by the introduction of Carter-Penrose diagrams and Penroseā€™s notion of a Conformal Boundary.

 The notion of geodesic completeness is defined and by an examination of geodesics it is shown that the Kruskal extension is maximal. Although of no great astrophysical signif- icance the Reissner-Nordstrom metrics are studied in preparation for the more challenging case of the Kerr solution. The uniqueness or No Hair properties of the Schwarzschild and Kerr solution are described and a particular case derived using the so-called Weyl metrics. The next part of the course is devoted to the classical thermodynamic properties of black holes. The course concludes with an account of quantum field theory in a curved back ground and a derivation derivation of the Hawking effect.

 A useful reference for the course may be found in the lecture notes of Paul Townsend (gr-qc:9707012), which were based on an earlier version of the present course.