Differential Forms and the Geometry of General Relativity

DFGGR cover

This book contains two intertwined but distinct halves. Designed for advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate students in mathematics or physics, most of the text requires little more than familiarity with calculus and linear algebra. The first half presents an introduction to general relativity that describes some of the surprising implications of relativity without introducing more formalism than necessary. This nonstandard approach uses differential forms rather than tensor calculus and minimizes the use of "index gymnastics" as much as possible. The second half of the book takes a more detailed look at the mathematics of differential forms. It covers the theory behind the mathematics used in the first half by emphasizing a conceptual understanding instead of formal proofs. The book provides a language to describe curvature, the key geometric idea in general relativity.

Differential Forms and the Geometry of General Relativity
Tevian Dray
A K Peters/CRC Press (c)2014
ISBN: 978-1-4665-1000-5
(publisher website, Amazon)


The resources below have been developed for the two-term sequence on Diffferential Forms and General Relativity at OSU, which runs for a total of 20 weeks, with three hours of instruction per week.

Course overview

Course homepages are available separately for Differential Forms and General Relativity. The homepages include a syllabus and schedule, complete with links to a (prepublication) wiki version of the text material.


A prepublication version of the book in wiki format is available in two parts, for Differential Forms and General Relativity.

Feedback and Updates

Feedback can be sent to the author via email at the address below. Updates and further discussion of selected topics will be posted here.


A list of known errors in the print version of the book will be maintained here. (Typos will be fixed in the wiki version of the book, which however does not contain all of the edits in the printed version.)

Tevian Dray
books at geometryof dot org