Lecture Notes on General Relativity

Sean M. Carroll

(gravitational waves disturbing a black hole, from NCSA)


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.


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 uncompressed postscript, but see next paragraph. (Need a postscript previewer?) Constructive comments and general flattery may be sent to me via the address below. Dates refer to the last nontrivial modification of the corresponding file (fixing typos doesn't count). The notes as a whole are available as gr-qc/9712019.

Other formats: if you don't like postscript, the notes are available in html from "Level 5" at Caltech, or in pdf from arxiv.org.

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.

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. (Also in 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

All contents copyright 1997, 1998 Sean M. Carroll unless otherwise credited. Permission is granted to copy and distribute freely, so long as proper attribution is given, no alterations are made, and no monetary profit is gained (intellectual and/or spiritual profit is perfectly acceptable).

Visits since Dec 17, 2001:



Sean Carroll    Self    Research    Teaching    Reviews, Talks    GR: Book, Notes    Activities    Blog