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School of Science
Course unit
SCM0014399, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1158, Degree course structure A.Y. 2014/15, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

No lecturer assigned to this course unit

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines FIS/01 Experimental Physics 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 3.0 24 51.0 No turn
Lecture 3.0 24 51.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2014 course timetable

Course unit contents: 1. Revisiting special relativity in a geometric approach.
2. Geodesic and parallel transport equations.
3. Einstein Equivalence Principle (EEP):
• Weak Equivalence Principle (WEB), Local Lorentz Invariance (LLI) and Local Position Invariance (LPI).
• EEP experimental tests:
- On macroscopic masses (modern version of the Eotvos experiment , free falling, experiments with satellites STEP and Microscope, fifth force).
- On microscopic masses using atomic interferometry .
- On antimater ( AEGIS).
- Nordtvedt effect.
- Test of lorentz invariance with optical cavities.
• Consequences of the EEP:
- Light deflection.
- Gravitational Red shift (Pound Rebcka experiment and Gravity Probe A).
- GPS.
- The twin paradox revisited.
- Metric theories of gravity.
4. Notes on the Einstein equations and the Schwarzschild solution.
5.Experimental tests of general relativity :
• Light deflection ( Eddington experiment and its modern version using radio-telescopes networks, VLBI).
• Mercury’s perihelion.
• Shapiro delay and experimental test with the Viking Mars mission.
• The PPN parameters.

6. Relativistic gravity in action:
• Gravitational Lensing, lens equation, microand macro lensing.
• Geodetic precession ( Gravity Probe B).
• Hints on the Schwarzschild black holes.

7. Gravitational waves:
• Linearized Einstein equations and the plane wave solution.
• Gravitational wave sources and the quadrupole approximation.
• Effects on mater and gravitational wave detectors.
- Ultra low frequencies: effects on CMB.
- Very low frequencies: pulsar timing.
- Low frequencies: laser tracking and the LISA satellites.
- Audio frequencies: earth based detectors (resonant
detectors, optical and atomic interferometric detectors).
• First detection, results and consequences.
8. Gravitomagnetic effect
- Lense Thirring (GPB and lares/lageos experiment)
Additional notes about suggested reading: Textbooks:
1. M.H.Hobson, G.Efstathiou, A.N. Lasenby
General Relativity: An introduction for Physicist
Cambridge University Press, 2007
2. James B. Hartle
Gravity: an introduction to Einstein’s general relativity
Addison Wesley, 2003
3. Additional material in Moodle
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)