How are David Tong's Lectures on General Relativity?

In summary: Carroll introduces those concepts on a rather high level of abstraction, much higher than necessary for a first course in GR.
  • #1
Haorong Wu
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Hi. I have tried David Tong's note on QFT. I think it works well for me and lead me into QFT. Now I am confident to read Peskin's book.

Now I am trying to learning GR. I planned to try David Tong's lectures on GR first and then read Sean Carroll's book. But I am not sure this plan now. I got lost in chapter 2, introducint differential geometry, in David Tong's lectures. It throws a lot of concepts I have never seen without sufficient examples, especially topics about Lie derivatives.

If you are familiar with Tong's notes, could you give me some advice that should I try other's notes, or just start with Sean Carroll's book?

Thanks!
 
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  • #2
I have not heard Tong, but I do know that seven months ago you were asking the most basic questions on SR. It is highly unlikely that you've progressed from there to studying GR on your own in that short a time.
 
  • #3
Vanadium 50 said:
I have not heard Tong, but I do know that seven months ago you were asking the most basic questions on SR. It is highly unlikely that you've progressed from there to studying GR on your own in that short a time.
Hi, @Vanadium 50 . I learned SR from Introduction to Electrodynamics by Griffiths. I am not sure whether that is sufficient or not. But I think I can understand the main concepts of SR when I read books about QFT and papers about relativistic quantum optics.

I am going to be a graduate student two weeks later. Since my research area would include quantum optics in curved spacetimes, then I am going to take a GR course. Thus I wish to learn it before I take the course.
 
  • #4
I'm not going to argue with you. On the one hand, you claim you can whip through SR with enough comprehension. On the other, you say you don't understand GR lectures.
 
  • #5
Haorong Wu said:
Hi, @Vanadium 50 . I learned SR from Introduction to Electrodynamics by Griffiths. I am not sure whether that is sufficient or not.
Looking at my copy of Griffiths, I don't think that it is near enough preparation for a GR course and before you ask, I don't have anything handy to suggest.
 
  • #6
Haorong Wu said:
I got lost in chapter 2, introducint differential geometry, in David Tong's lectures.
Tong introduces those concepts on a rather high level of abstraction, much higher than necessary for a first course in GR. Carroll is more down to Earth on this.
 
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Related to How are David Tong's Lectures on General Relativity?

1. What topics are covered in David Tong's Lectures on General Relativity?

The lectures cover a wide range of topics including the principles of general relativity, tensor calculus, black holes, cosmology, and gravitational waves.

2. Are David Tong's Lectures on General Relativity suitable for beginners?

While some familiarity with basic calculus and physics concepts is helpful, the lectures are designed to be accessible to beginners and do not require advanced mathematical knowledge.

3. Are the lectures available for free?

Yes, the lectures are available for free on David Tong's website as well as on various online platforms such as YouTube and iTunes.

4. How long are the lectures?

The lectures are approximately 2 hours long each, with a total of 24 lectures in the series.

5. Can I use the lectures for educational purposes?

Yes, the lectures can be used for educational purposes such as self-study, teaching, or supplementing a course on general relativity. However, please note that the lectures are not a replacement for a formal course or textbook on the subject.

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