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General Relativity

General Relativity is Einstein's theory of gravity. Here he shows that gravity should not be described as a force, as in Newton's theory, but as a consequence of spacetime curvature. This course is about this remarkable discovery.

Information for admitted students Spring 2021

Congratulations! You have been admitted at Stockholm University and we hope that you will enjoy your studies with us.

In order to ensure that your studies begin as smoothly as possible we have compiled a short checklist for the beginning of the semester.

Follow the instructions on wether you have to reply to your offer or not.


Checklist for admitted students

  1. Activate your university account

    The first step in being able to register and gain access to all the university's IT services.

  2. Register at your department

    Registration can be done in different ways. Read the instructions from your department below.

  3. Read all the information on this page

    Here you will find what you need to know before your course or programme starts.


Your seat may be withdrawn if you do not register according to the instructions provided by your department.

Information from your department

On this page you will shortly find information on registration, learning platform, etc.

Welcome activities

Stockholm University organises a series of welcome activities that stretch over a few weeks at the beginning of each semester. The programme is voluntary (attendance is optional) and includes Arrival Service at the airport and an Orientation Day, see more details about these events below.
Your department may also organise activities for welcoming international students. More information will be provided by your specific department. 

Find your way on campus

Stockholm University's main campus is in the Frescati area, north of the city centre. While most of our departments and offices are located here, there are also campus areas in other parts of the city.

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Pre-departure information

New in Sweden

The course begins by introducing the basic ideas behind the theory, such as the equivalence principle, how to describe curved spaces in terms of a metric, and the importance of special relativity as a locally valid theory. These insights are then used to study the Schwarzschild spacetime – the spacetime outside a spherically symmetric mass distribution, such as a planet, star or black hole. Thereafter we move on to the more mathematical parts of the theory, introducing tensors, the concept of parallel transport, the covariant derivative and the Riemann curvature tensor. After a discussion of the stress energy tensor we are then able to write down Einstein's equation, describing the connection between spacetime curvature and matter. In the last part of the course we discuss some important consequences of the theory, such as black holes, cosmology and gravitational waves.

Teaching during the spring semester 2021

During the spring semester 2021, lectures and problem solving sessions will be given remotely. The course will be examined through written home assignments and oral remote examination.

The course is using the Athena learning platform.

  • Course structure

    This is an advanced level course given in half pace during daytime. It is recommended (but not mandatory) for the Master's programme in theoretical physics.

    Teaching format

    The teaching consists of lectures, problem solving sessions and assignments with feedback.


    The examination consists of a written part and an oral part.


    Sören Holst

    Phone: +468 5537 8740


  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    James B. Hartle: Gravity - an Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity (Addison Wesley 2003, ISBN: 0-8053-8662-9)

  • Course reports

    Här ligger ett skript.

  • Contact

    Course coordinator and teacher:
    Sören Holst, phone: +468 5537 8740, e-mail:

    Marcus Högås, e-mail:


    Academic advisor at the Department of Physics:

    Student office: