Introduction to General Relativity for Enthusiasts

Every Saturday 14.30 — 16.30 Michaelmas 2019

MR4, Centre for Mathematical Sciences


Special Relativity, Manifolds and Tensors, Metric and Connection, Parallel Transport and Geodesics, Special Relativity in new mathematical language, Electromagnetism, Curvature of manifolds, Gravitational field equations, Schwarzschild Solutions, Classical tests of GR, Brief introduction to Schwarzschild black holes

Lecture Notes

Full lecture notes containing sections taught during Michaelmas is now available: GR Michaelmas

The rest of the notes is under construction…

Additional Information


Mainly aimed at first and second year physicists, mathematicians or undergraduates from other backgrounds who are interested. The learning curve of this course can be steep, but it is worthy spending time to understand and appreciate one of the most elegance theory of physics in human history. The goal of this lecture series is to introduce at an early stage the idea of General Relativity to students who are enthusiastic. Through these lectures, I hope I can inspire students’ physical intuition towards General Relativity, and build mathematical languages of appropriate level to describe the idea of “gravity = curvature of spacetime” quantitatively. At the same time, I can consolidate my own knowledge on this subject and improve my teaching skills.


Working knowledge of multivariable calculus and some linear algebra. Experience in solving differential equations is useful.


  1. Due to the limit in my personal knowledge, there might be some errors or flaws in my lectures (that’s why I need practice!), please forgive me and give me your kind feedback;
  2. The mathematical description for lectures at this level won’t consider some pure mathematical details (where problems arise, we ignore them or assume good behaviour). Thus it might not satisfy some puremos. Please forgive me if I don’t know enough to answer some really serious pure maths questions.


I hereby express my deepest gratitude to Professor David Tong for his kind support. 


Any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me via the Contact page.