Theory of General Relativity
In this course, our goal will be to gain an understanding of the concept of Einstein’s General Relativity, which explains the behavior of space and time, delves into the origins of gravitational force, and ultimately predicts the existence of black holes and gravitational waves. During lectures, I adopt a more intuitive approach, utilizing mathematics that most high-school students are already familiar with. We will explore Einstein’s motivation for developing this new theory, which goes beyond classical theory of gravity. By the end of the course, students will gain a different perspective on the world and find the intricacies of life in our Universe even more fascinating.
1 | Revision of Mathematics
– In the first lecture, I will ensure that we are all on the same page with our mathematical tools, introducing some new formulas essential throughout the course.
2 | Seeking the Ultimate Clocks
– Before Einstein formulated his theory of General Relativity in 1915, he had discovered the concept of Special Relativity in 1905 and understood that it might not present a complete picture.
– Special Relativity explores how time behaves when objects travel very close to the speed of light, explaining that there is no ultimate clock in the universe.
3 | Curved Spaces
– Until the 19th century, Euclidean geometry was the only type of geometry considered. To understand general relativity, we need to go beyond and comprehend how shapes and spaces behave when they become curved.
– We will use the everyday globe used in geography classes to rethink the Pythagorean theorem and ultimately build a new curved Universe.
4 | Beyond Vectors
– While most high school students are familiar with vectors that give us direction and magnitude of physical quantities, in this class, we will extend our knowledge to tensors, understanding their usefulness not only for general relativity but also in other fields of physics.
5 | From Newton to Einstein
– We will derive Einstein’s Field Equations and compare them with the standard Newton’s law of gravity taught in high school.
– Observe how this new concept of General Relativity explains gravity, electromagnetism, and even incorporates the special relativity taught in Lecture 2.
6 | Black Holes
– The new theory of gravity will be taken to extremes as we explore the concept of Black Holes.
– We will demonstrate how time and space behave in such conditions and attempt to simulate a Black Hole, as shown in the film Interstellar, using the knowledge gained in previous lectures.