136.028 Black Holes I
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2019W, VU, 2.0h, 3.0EC


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to understand the basic concepts of black hole formation and the very notion of a black hole itself. The will have learned basic concepts of differential geometry that allow them to calculate the motion of test particles in black hole backgrounds (and as spin-off also verify the classical tests of general relativity) and the Riemann curvature tensor. They will be able to derive Einstein's equation and solve them in simple, highly symmetric, cases.

Subject of course

History of black holes Phenomenology of and experiments with black holes Gravitational collapse and Chandrasekhar limit Metric and geodesic equation Geodesics for Schwarzschild black holes Curvature and basics of differential geometry Hilbert action and Einstein equations Spherically symmetric black holes and Birkhoff theorem Rotating black holes: the Kerr solution Geodesics for Kerr black holes Accretion disks and black hole observations Black hole analogs in condensed matter physics Critial collapse, quasinormal modes and numerical relativity

Teaching methods

The Lecturer uses almost exclusively the blackboard to communicate the content of the lectures and to solve selected exercises. Students independently solve problems after each teaching unit; they are discussed in the following week.

Mode of examination




Course dates

Tue09:00 - 11:0001.10.2019 - 21.01.2020Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Black Holes I - Single appointments
Tue01.10.201909:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue08.10.201909:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue15.10.201909:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue22.10.201909:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue29.10.201909:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue05.11.201909:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue12.11.201909:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue19.11.201909:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue26.11.201909:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue03.12.201909:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue10.12.201909:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue17.12.201909:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue07.01.202009:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue14.01.202009:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture
Tue21.01.202009:00 - 11:00Sem.R. DB gelb 03 lecture

Examination modalities

Weekly homework exercises and/or oral exam.

Course registration

Not necessary



S. Carroll Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity

Further literature will be mentioned during the first lecture on October 10.

Previous knowledge

good knowledge of special relativity is required basic knowledge of general relativity is helpful, but not required no prior knowledge of astrophysics, particle physics or cosmology is required