Lecturer: Mark Newton
Weighting: 6 CATS
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.
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
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
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