Homepage winter semester 2020/21 Special Topics in GR including Relativitic Cosmology


The lecture will cover (3+1)-hours per week, which means one average 3 hours of lectures plus one hour of exercises per week. We will proceed with 4 hours of lectures in the first week, 2 hours of lectures plus two hours of exercises in the second week, and then continue in an alternating fashion. At the end of semester each student should have presented, step by step, at least one complete solution in order to get the certificate of attendence (Studienleistung). The certificate of examination (Prüfungsleistung) is obtained after an examination covering all aspects of the course's content. This examination may be oral or written, depending on the number of students signing up.  

Modules / ECTS

Bachelor programme: Wahlbereich, Moderne Aspekte der Physik.
Masters programme: Fortgeschrittene Vertiefungsphase.
ECTS points: 5

Lectures (Start October 22. 2020)

Thursday 08:15-09:45 hours (online)
Thursday 14:15-15:45 hours (online)

Exercises (Start October 29. 2020)

Thursday 14:15-15:45 hours (online)
The problem sheets will be distributed as handouts on Fridays and discussed on the following Thursday.  


Handwritten notes for each lecture as well as problem sheets will be distributed here. There you also find other material that you may find useful and/or interesting, like latest science news related to GR and cosmology, as well as some other readings related to the history and and/or pedagogical aspects of GR. Check it out!

Course description

The lecture complements and continues the previous lecture on GR. It will give and introduction to relativistic cosmology and also pick some special topics connected with GR. The cosmology part should be accesssible without much prior knowglede of GR, but the following topics will require that.

Our programme (preliminary)

  1. Newtonian cosmology.
  2. Cosmology within GR ("relativistic" cosmology).
  3. Standard Models in cosmology.
  4. Problems of cosmology.
  5. Relativistic stars; Lane-Emden-equation; Chandrasekhar Limit.
  6. Neutron stars and gravitational collapse.
  7. More on Black Holes.


  1. Norbert Straumann: General Relativity (Second Edition), Springer Verlag (2013) Graduate Texts in Physics, 736 pages. Comment: A comprehensive textbook covering all aspects except cosmology. It also contains a concise discussion of differential-geometric tools.

  2. Wolfgang Rindler: Relativitätstheorie: Speziell, Allgemein und Kosmologisch, Wiley-VCH (2016), 530 pages. Comment: Reasonably priced, very good selection of topics, pedagogical approach, many exterices. Mathematical aspects are mostly suppressed.

  3. Robert M. Wald: General Relativity, University of Chicago Press (1984), 506 Seiten. Comment: A classic text.

  4. Charles W. Misner, Kip S. Thorne und John Archibald Wheeler: Gravitation, Princeton University Press (2017 Hardcover-Reprint der 1973 Ausgabe), 1328 pages. Comment: The classic text (much loved, sometimes hated).


Prof. Dr. Domenico Giulini