Skip to content

Module Catalogue

Breadcrumbs navigation

PH5011   General Relativity

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 15

ECTS credits : 7

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Normally only taken in the final year of an MPhys or MSci programme involving the School

Planned timetable: 9.00 am Wed, Fri, 3.00 pm Thu (TBC)

This module covers: inertial frames, gravity, principle of equivalence, curvature of spacetime; basic techniques of tensor analysis; Riemannian spaces, metric tensor, raising and lowering of indices, Christoffel symbols, locally flat coordinates, covariant derivatives, geodesics, curvature tensor, Ricci tensor, Einstein tensor; fundamental postulates of general relativity: spacetime, geodesics, field equations, laws of physics in curved spacetime; distances, time intervals, speeds; reduction of equations of general relativity to Newtonian gravitational equations; Schwarzschild exterior solution, planetary motion, bending of light rays, time delays; observational tests of general relativity; Schwarzschild interior solution, gravitational collapse, black holes.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass PH3081 or pass PH3082 or ( pass MT2506 and pass MT2507 ). Before taking this module you are advised to pass PH4032 and pass PH4038

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 3 lectures or tutorials.

Scheduled learning hours: 32

Guided independent study hours: 118

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 100%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 100%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 0%

Re-assessment: Oral Re-assessment, capped at grade 7


Module teaching staff: Dr M Dominik

Additional information from school

Please see also the information in the School's Handbook for Honours modules available via This link also gives access to timetables for the modules.