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These notes represent approximately one semester's worth of lectures on introductory general relativity for beginning graduate students in physics. Topics include manifolds, Riemannian geometry, Einstein's equations, and three applications: grav-itational radiation, black holes, and cosmology. Individual chapters, and potentially updated versions, can be(More)
This is a review of the physics and cosmology of the cosmological constant. Focusing on recent developments, I present a pedagogical overview of cosmology in the presence of a cosmological constant, observational constraints on its magnitude, and the physics of a small (and potentially nonzero) vacuum energy.
These notes provide a brief introduction to modern cosmology, focusing primarily on theoretical issues. Some attention is paid to aspects of potential interest to students of string theory, on both sides of the two-way street of cosmological constraints on string theory and stringy contributions to cosmology. Slightly updated version of lectures at the 1999(More)
According to Darwinian theory, complexity evolves by a stepwise process of elaboration and optimization under natural selection. Biological systems composed of tightly integrated parts seem to challenge this view, because it is not obvious how any element's function can be selected for unless the partners with which it interacts are already present. Here we(More)
We suggest that spontaneous eternal inflation can provide a natural explanation for the thermodynamic arrow of time, and discuss the underlying assumptions and consequences of this view. In the absence of inflation, we argue that systems coupled to gravity usually evolve asymptotically to the vacuum, which is the only natural state in a thermodynamic sense.(More)
If our universe underwent inflation, its entropy during the inflationary phase was substantially lower than it is today. Because a low-entropy state is less likely to be chosen randomly than a high-entropy one, inflation is unlikely to arise through randomly-chosen initial conditions. To resolve this puzzle, we examine the notion of a natural state for the(More)
  • Jeffrey B Carruthers, Sarah M Carroll, Prasanna Kannan, J B Carruthers, S M Carroll, P Kannan
We describe an iterative site-based method for estimating the impulse response of optical wireless channels. The method allows for the simultaneous evaluation of channels for many receiver or transmitter locations, thus providing significantly improved calculation times. A simple geometrical model of indoor environments is presented which includes interior(More)
This is a review of the physics and cosmology of the cosmological constant. Focusing on recent developments, I present a pedagogical overview of cosmology in the presence of a cosmological constant, observational constraints on its magnitude, and the physics of a small (and potentially nonzero) vacuum energy. On author request a Living Reviews article can(More)
The universe appears to be accelerating, but the reason why is a complete mystery. The simplest explanation, a small vacuum energy (cosmological constant), raises three difficult issues: why the vacuum energy is so small, why it is not quite zero, and why it is comparable to the matter density today. I discuss these mysteries, some of their possible(More)
We study the behavior of light rays in perturbed Robertson-Walker cosmologies, calculating the redshift between an observer and the surface of last scattering to second order in the metric perturbation. At first order we recover the classic results of Sachs and Wolfe, and at second order we delineate the various new effects which appear; there is no a(More)