
Course unit
INTRODUCTION TO RELATIVISTIC GRAVITY
SCM0014399, A.A. 2019/20
Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18
Lecturers
No lecturer assigned to this course unit
ECTS: details
Type 
ScientificDisciplinary 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 
Hours of Individual study 
Shifts 
Practice 
3.0 
24 
51.0 
No turn 
Lecture 
3.0 
24 
51.0 
No turn 
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 radiotelescopes 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) 


