# PX109 Relativity

## Lecturer: Mark Newton

## Weighting: 6 CATS

**Aims:**

The module should lead to an appreciation of the beauty and simplicity of Einstein's special theory of relativity. You should understand the concept of space-time, the importance of causality and how special relativity affects position, time, velocity, momentum, force and energy.

**Objectives:**

At the end of the module, you should

- Be able to differentiate between Galilean and Lorentz transformation laws
- Be able to use the Lorentz transformation and the equivalence between mass and energy in simple calculations
- Be able to use Minkowski diagrams to plot world lines and relate events

**Syllabus:**

Introduction

The Velocity of Light

- Galilean Transformation of Velocities
- The ether
- The Michelson Morley experiment
- Fitzgerald/Lorentz contraction

Einstein's postulates: Lorentz transformation, Inverse Lorentz transformation

Length Contraction - Proper length, Comparison with Fitzgerald/Lorentz

Time Dilation - Proper Time

Einstein Principles of Relativity

Momentum

Force

Energy

Minkovsky diagrams - graphical representation of past/present/future.

**Commitment:** 15 Lectures + 5 problems classes

**Assessment:** 1 hour examination

**Recommended Text:** H D Young and R A Freedman, University Physics, Pearson.

**Leads from:** A level Physics and Mathematics