This book represents course notes for a one semester course at the undergraduatelevel giving an introduction to Riemannian geometry and its principal physicalapplication, Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The background assumed isa good grounding in linear algebra and in advanced calculus, preferably in thelanguage of diﬀerential forms.Chapter I introduces the various curvatures associated to a hypersurfaceembedded in Euclidean space, motivated by the formula for the volume forthe region obtained by thickening the hypersurface on one side. If we thickenthe hypersurface by an amount
in the normal direction, this formula is apolynomial in
whose coeﬃcients are integrals over the hypersurface of localexpressions. These local expressions are elementary symmetric polynomials inwhat are known as the principal curvatures. The precise deﬁnitions are given inthe text.The chapter culminates with Gauss’
which assertsthat if we thicken a two dimensional surface evenly on
sides, then the theseintegrands depend only on the intrinsic geometry of the surface, and not on howthe surface is embedded. We give two proofs of this important theorem. (Wegive several more later in the book.) The ﬁrst proof makes use of “normal coor-dinates” which become so important in Riemannian geometry and, as “inertialframes,” in general relativity. It was this theorem of Gauss, and particularlythe very notion of “intrinsic geometry”, which inspired Riemann to develop hisgeometry.Chapter II is a rapid review of the diﬀerential and integral calculus on man-ifolds, including diﬀerential forms,the
operator, and Stokes’ theorem. Alsovector ﬁelds and Lie derivatives. At the end of the chapter are a series of sec-tions in exercise form which lead to the notion of parallel transport of a vectoralong a curve on a embedded surface as being associated with the “rolling of the surface on a plane along the curve”.Chapter III discusses the fundamental notions of linear connections and theircurvatures, and also Cartan’s method of calculating curvature using frame ﬁeldsand diﬀerential forms. We show that the geodesics on a Lie group equipped witha bi-invariant metric are the translates of the one parameter subgroups. A shortexercise set at the end of the chapter uses the Cartan calculus to compute thecurvature of the Schwartzschild metric. A second exercise set computes somegeodesics in the Schwartzschild metric leading to two of the famous predictionsof general relativity: the advance of the perihelion of Mercury and the bendingof light by matter. Of course the theoretical basis of these computations, i.e.the theory of general relativity, will come later, in Chapter VII.Chapter IV begins by discussing the bundle of frames which is the modernsetting for Cartan’s calculus of “moving frames” and also the jumping oﬀ pointfor the general theory of connections on principal bundles which lie at the baseof such modern physical theories as Yang-Mills ﬁelds. This chapter seems topresent the most diﬃculty conceptually for the student.Chapter V discusses the general theory of connections on ﬁber bundles andthen specialize to principal and associated bundles.