Physics 139
Special and General Relativity for Undergraduates
Spring, 2010
University of California, Berkeley
 Instructor: Robert Littlejohn
 Office: 449 Birge
 Office Hours: F 12
 Email: physics139@wigner.berkeley.edu
Reader: Nadir Jeevanjeenadir@wigner.berkeley.edu

 Lecture: 385 LeConte
 Time: TuTh 23:30
 Discussion Section: Th 45, 6 Evans
 Text: Hartle, Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity
AddisonWesley
Organization and Logistics
The email address for this course is physics139@wigner.berkeley.edu.
If you wish to be included on the mailing list for course
announcements, homework notices, etc., send an email to this address
with your name.
(You don't have to be enrolled.) If you drop the course or don't
want to receive any more announcements, send an email to this address
with a request to be dropped.
The course web site
(this site) will be used to post lecture notes, special notes and
homework assignments.
The grade will be
based on weekly homework and a final exam. I leave open the
possibility that there will be an oral exam instead of a written; it
depends on the enrollment, and I will let you know by the beginning of
April.
Prerequisites
include Physics 105 and 110A. If you do not have taken these
prerequisites, you must have instructor's permission to enroll for
this course.
The course catalog describes this course as an introduction to
special and general relativity. Special relativity is taught in
Physics 110B, but that is not a prerequisite for this course.
Therefore I will not assume that you know special relativity before
taking this course, and will devote the first part of the course to
special relativity. In the second half we will take up general
relativity. Hartle's book will be more useful for the second half.
If you are already an expert on special relativity and want to learn
general relativity, you might consider the graduate course (Physics
231).
Lecture notes are
my handwritten notes that I prepare for
lecture. I don't guarantee that they will be identical to what is
presented in class, but they should be pretty close usually, so you
can probably do without taking notes in class if you want to download
these. These notes are available in pdf format only.
Lecture Notes.
Homework
assignments will normally be made available on this web site by
Friday of each week, and will be due one week later, Friday at 5pm
sharp, in the envelope outside my office (449 Birge).
Policy on Late
Homework: Late homeworks will be accepted at 50% credit, up to
one week late. Homeworks more than one week late will not be
accepted. Exception: Each student is allowed one free late
homework (up to one week late), no questions asked. Please do not ask
the reader to accept late homeworks. Just put them in the envelope;
they will be processed when the reader can get to them.
 Homework 1, due Friday, January 29 at 5pm in postscript or pdf
format.
 Homework 2, due Friday, February 5 at 5pm in postscript or pdf
format.
 Homework 3, due Friday, February 12 at 5pm in postscript or pdf
format.
 Homework 4, due Friday, February 19 at 5pm in postscript or pdf
format.
 Homework 5, due Monday, March 1 at 5pm in postscript or pdf
format.
 Homework 6, due Friday, March 5 at 5pm in postscript or pdf
format.
 Homework 7, due Friday, March 12 at 5pm in postscript or pdf
format.
 Homework 8, due Friday, March 17 at 5pm in postscript or pdf
format.
 Homework 9, due Friday, April 2 at 5pm in postscript or pdf
format.
 Homework 10, due Friday, April 9 at 5pm in postscript or pdf
format.
 Homework 11, due Friday, April 16 at 5pm in postscript or pdf
format.
 Homework 12, due Friday, April 29 at 5pm in postscript or pdf
format.
 Homework 13, Suggested problems, nothing due, in postscript or pdf
format.
Supplemental Notes.
 Notes on Classical Mechanics, in
ps or
pdf
format.
 Notes for Homework 8, in
pdf
format only.
 Solution of Problem 5.22, in
pdf
format only.
 Solution of Problem 12.15, in
pdf
format only.
 Solution of Problem 12.16, in
pdf
format only.