This page hosts the syllabus, homework assignments, and other relevant information for AS.171.708 (Gravitational Waves).
Preliminary Lecture Plan
Homework #1 (due 10/5): Solve the following problems from Poisson-Will: Problems 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 (Note: in problems 3.2 and 3.3 you can ignore the part that asks about computing the perturbing force f acting on a planetary orbit and computing the secular changes in the planet’s orbital elements, since we did not cover the theory of perturbations of Keplerian orbits in class. Extra points if you try to work that out, too!); Problems 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.8, 4.9, 4.10
Homework #2 (due 10/26): Poisson problems 1.2 (parametrization of null geodesics), 1.5 (check that Lx and Ly satisfy Killing’s equation); PW problems 5.5, 5.7, 5.9, 5.10, 5.12, 5.15.
Homework #3 (due 11/30): Problem 1: Use a computer algebra program (e.g. Mathematica) to find the vacuum Einstein equations in spherical symmetry (step by step!) and the Schwarzschild metric. Show that you can reproduce the intermediate results given (e.g.) in Eqs. (5.39), (5.40), (5.41) of Carroll. Compute the Kretschmann invariant and verify that it is given by (5.50) of Carroll’s book. Problem 2: Complete the derivation of the equation of state for degenerate fermions [cf. Eq. (2.3.6) and (2.3.8) of Shapiro-Teukolsky]. Write a numerical code to integrate the Lane-Emden equation. Plot the mass-radius curve and verify the Chandrasekhar limit. Try also to recover the Oppenheimer-Volkoff maximum mass of an “ideal” neutron star.