Physics 616 Syllabus, GR, Galaxies, Cosmology

TR 12:55-2:10; Office Hours: Wed. 2pm or as announced

Subject to change. Please feel free to email me or contact me on Canvas if you have any questions or concerns.

Course Materials

  • Textbook: "Schutz, General Relativity" (online version available through library) and others TBD


Homework (due on Thursdays) 20% (lowest score dropped), in-class group work 20% (lowest two scores dropped), midterm 25%, final 35%.

Office Hours

Wednesday 2:00pm or by appointment.


Solutions must be submitted electronically in a single .pdf file in 8.5 by 11 form (portrait mode). If you would like to hand-write your homework, this is no problem, please just scan it or take a readable picture of it with your cell phone. Late homeworks are not accepted, but the lowest homework score is dropped. You may work with your classmates on your homework, but whatever you turn in must be entirely written by you in your own words.


Lectures (lecture slides and videos) will be posted on canvas.


I will use Canvas for this course. This link should take you directly there.


The midterm will be a take-home exam, released on TBD and due on TBD. Do not work with your colleagues on the take-home exam, but you are free to use the books, lectures notes, homeworks.


There will be a take-home final, formatted similarly to the midterm.


  1. The principle of equivalence
  2. General covariance
  3. The general theory of relativity
  4. Black holes
  5. Neutron stars and GR
  6. Gamma-ray bursts
  7. Gravitational waves
  8. Hubble expansion
  9. Energy and matter in the universe
  10. Friedmann cosmologies
  11. Big bang
  12. Beyond the classical big bang

Disability Statement

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is committed to providing an inclusive learning environment for all students. If you anticipate or experience a barrier in this course due to a chronic health condition, a learning, hearing, neurological, mental health, vision, physical, or other kind of disability, or a temporary injury, you are encouraged to contact Student Disability Services (SDS) at 865-974-6087 or An SDS Coordinator will meet with you to develop a plan to ensure you have equitable access to this course. If you are already registered with SDS, please contact your instructor to discuss implementing accommodations included in your course access letter.