Lecture Notes on General Relativity

This set of lecture notes on general relativity has been expanded into a textbook, Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity, available for purchase online or at finer bookstores everywhere. About 50% of the book is completely new; I've also polished and improved many of the explanations, and made the organization more flexible and user-friendly. The notes as they are will always be here for free.

(gravitational waves disturbing a black hole, from NCSA)

These lecture notes are a lightly edited version of the ones I handed out while teaching Physics 8.962, the graduate course in General Relativity at MIT, during Spring 1996. Each of the chapters is available here as pdf. Constructive comments and general flattery may be sent to me via the address below. The notes as a whole are available as gr-qc/9712019, and in html from "Level 5" at Caltech. What is even more amazing, the notes have been translated into French by Jacques Fric. Je ne parle pas francais, mais cette traduction devrait etre bonne.

Dates refer to the last nontrivial modification of the corresponding file (fixing typos doesn't count). Note that, unlike the book, no real effort has been made to fix errata in these notes, so be sure to check your equations.

In a hurry? Can't be bothered to slog through lovingly detailed descriptions of subtle features of curved spacetime? Try the No-Nonsense Introduction to General Relativity, a 24-page condensation of the full-blown lecture notes.(pdf)

While you are here check out the Spacetime and Geometry bibliography page -- an annotated bibilography of technical and popular books, many available for purchase online.

Related sets of notes or tutorials Links to GR resources