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Unit Overview


This unit builds on a solid foundation of mathematics and physics established at the undergraduate levels in Physics and develops some of the major elements of modern theoretical physics at an advanced level. The unit is comprised of the following two related 18 lecture modules with their objectives below: (2) Differential Geometry for Physicists; and (2) General Relativity.

The general aims of Differential Geometry for Physicists are to introduce the following elements of modern differential geometry and demonstrate their use in the context of modern physics: manifolds; differential forms; Riemannian geometry; De Rham theory; Lie groups and Lie algebras.

The general aims of General Relativity are (1) to study the physical principles and the mathematical methods of Einstein's General Relativity; and (2) to study several important exactly solved problems in General Relativity (including the Schwarzschild solution, the geodesic motion of massive and massless particles in de Sitter and anti-de Sitter spaces etc.).

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) communicate central ideas and concepts involved in differential geometry and advanced electrodynamics; (2) explain the relationships between the physical principles that apply in differential geometry and advanced electrodynamics; and (3) solve advanced problems in theoretical physics in the context of differential geometry and advanced electrodynamics..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments and (2) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Evgeny Buchbinder
Unit rules
Enrolment in
HON-MTHST Mathematics and Statistics
or HON-PHYSC Physics
or CM015 Bachelor of Science Frontier Physics and Master of Physics
or 53560 Master of Physics
completion of the core units in the Physics major or equivalent
and PHYS3011 Mathematical Physics
Advisable prior study
PHYS4010 Symmetry Principles in Physics (ID 5141)
and PHYS4415 Special Topics in Physics I (ID 4213)
Contact hours
Lectures: 3 x 45 minutes per week
Practical Classes: 1 x 45 minutes per week.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.