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Hubert Bray : An Overview of General Relativity

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After brief introductions to special relativity and the foundations of differential geometry, we will discuss the big ideas behind Einstein's theory of general relativity. Einstein's theory replaces Newtonian physics not only as the best description of gravity according to experiments, but also as a philosophically pleasing and very geometric idea, which Einstein called his "happiest thought." We will also discuss the predictions made by general relativity, including the big bang and black holes, both of which are strongly supported by observations. We will discuss these ideas from a geometric perspective, and discuss some of the open problems and future directions that are currently being studied.

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