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Why isn't general relativity

  1. Aug 6, 2007 #1
    taught at the undergraduate level? I know its introduce in the intro modern physics class you taken, but why doesn't General relativity have its on class?Shouldn't general relativity be taught after you just taken your classical mechanics and electrodynamics courses and shouldn't it be taught before you begin your quantum mechanics courses?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2007 #2
    At least at my college (Yale), it is. The prereqs for both quantum and GR is just advanced classical mechanics. I personally think they fit well in either order, because they do not build on each other in the slightest. They both introduce new math, and I don't think either is harder than the other, in my experience.
  4. Aug 6, 2007 #3
    at my school (UMASS) you can take a generl relativity course which is at the 500 level (translates as either advanced undergrad or first year grad) this coming semester I will be taking it concurrently with classical mechanics, and quantum mechanics.
  5. Aug 6, 2007 #4
    I took a GR course as a fourth-year undergrad. The pre-req's were 2nd year mechanics and math courses in ODEs and vector calculus. You definitely don't need GR to do quantum!

    The professor who taught the course I took had worked with Hartle, so we were the guinea pigs for his textbook the year before it came out in print. It was actually one of the less mathematically-intense upper level physics courses I took!
  6. Aug 6, 2007 #5


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    This was the focus of a recent AAPT Topical Conference "TEACHING GENERAL RELATIVITY TO UNDERGRADUATES":
    http://www.aapt-doorway.org/TGRU/ [Broken]

    (I contributed an entry to the PF blog about it and the rest of the main AAPT meeting
    https://www.physicsforums.com/blog/2006/07/30/aapt-syracuse-2006/ [Broken] )
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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