Skip to main content
Till KTH:s startsida Till KTH:s startsida

SH2372 General Relativity 6.0 credits

The course covers the basics in general relativity and goes through the underlying mathematical framework, the physical interpretations, as well as the simplest space-time solutions with applications in, for example, cosmology.

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.


For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 28 Oct 2024 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus SH2372 (Spring 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Basic differential geometry: Local coordinates on manifolds. Covariant and contravariant vector and tensor fields. (Pseudo-) Riemann metric. Covariant differentiation (Christoffel symbols, Levi-Civita connection). Parallel transport. Curved spaces. Lie derivatives and Killing vector fields.

General theory of relativity:  Basic concepts in general relativity. Schwarzschild spacetime. Einstein's field equations. The energy-momentum tensor. Weak field limit. Experimental tests of general relativity. Gravitational lensing. Gravitational waves. Introductory cosmology (including the Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker metric), including inflation and dark energy.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing the course you should be able to:

  • Use differential geometry to describe the properties of a curved space and compute basic quantities in differential geometry.
  • Derive and use Einstein's field equations and describe the definition and role of the energy-momentum tensor in those, account for the physical interpretation of its components, and prove that Newton's theory of gravity is recovered in the non-relativistic limit.
  • Compute physical quantities for test particles in a given solution to Einstein's field equations, e.g., particle trajectories and proper times.
  • Give an account of the experiments with which the general theory of relativity has been tested and compare with predictions from Newton's theory of gravity.
  • Use the Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker metric to describe the different possibilities for how a homogeneous universe develops with time as well as describe the ideas behind cosmological inflation and dark energy.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

SI2371 Special relativity and good knowledge of multivariable differential calculus. SI2371 may be studied in parallel.

English B / English 6

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


No information inserted


No information inserted

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • TEN1 - Written exam, 6.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

The course is examined through an exam, which normally is a written exam.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination



Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

Engineering Physics

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Tommy Ohlsson (