Courses & Units

General Relativity KYA424

Offered subject to student demand/lecturer availability.


This is an elective coursework unit intended for physics and maths honours students. This unit in mathematical physics aims to provide an understanding of general relativity as a theory of gravity relating to the geometric properties of spacetime. We begin with special relativity, which applies in flat spacetime, develop the Lorentz transforms, index notation, and the equivalence principle. Using world lines in space-time and tensor analysis, the corresponding notation for curved space is developed, leading to the geodesic equations and the Einstein field equations. The Schwarzschild and Kerr solutions, tests of general relativity, and gravitational waves are explored.


Unit name General Relativity
Unit code KYA424
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Physics
Coordinator Mr Stephen Walters
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Honours


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 26/2/2024 22/3/2024 15/4/2024 2/6/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the mathematical basis behind the methods of special and general relativity.
  • Apply relativistic concepts and methods to astronomical and laboratory observations.
  • Describe the solutions to the Einstein field equations for an expanding Universe and for black holes.
  • Evaluate the evidence for General Relativity from astronomical tests and critically consider alternative theories.
  • Evaluate the detection methods for gravitational wave searches and critically assess the interpretation of evidence for their origin.

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
010301 $1,118.00 $1,118.00 not applicable $2,978.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.


Teaching Pattern

3 x 1-hr lectures per week, 1 x 1-h tutorial per week

AssessmentExamination (50%)|Problem Set Assignments (50%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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