MAS314 Introduction to Relativity
|Semester 1, 2021/22||10 Credits|
|Lecturer:||Dr Sam Dolan||Timetable||Reading List|
Einstein's theory of relativity is one of the cornerstones of our understanding of the universe. This course will introduce some of the ideas of relativity and the physical consequences of the theory, many of which are highly counter-intuitive. For example, a rapidly moving body will appear to be contracted as seen by an observer at rest. The course will also introduce one of the most famous equations in the whole of mathematics: E=Mc2.
Prerequisites: MAS112 (Vectors and Mechanics)
The following modules have this module as a prerequisite:
|MAS413||Analytical Dynamics and Classical Field Theory|
- The need for special relativity: Galilean relativity in Newtonian Mechanics. "Ether", or lack of it.
- Foundations of special relativity Postulates of special relativity; Lorentz transformations; time dilation; length contraction, Minkowski space.
- Kinematics in special relativity: Velocity and acceleration four-vectors; uniform acceleration; momentum; E=Mc2;
- Collisions in special relativity: Conservation of mass and momentum; applications to simple particle collisions.
- The need for general relativity: Why special relativity cannot be the whole story.
- To motivate the need for relativity as a theory;
- To introduce the key ideas;
- To introduce some simple applications in collisions and kinematics.
Learning outcomesBy the end of the unit students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the need for relativity as a theory and the key ideas, and have an awareness of some simple applications in collisions and kinematics.
Lectures; problem sheets with worked solutions.
20 lectures, no tutorials
|B||d'Inverno||Introducing Einstein's relativity||530.11 (D)||Blackwells||Amazon|
|B||Giulini||Special Relativity - A First Encounter: 100 Years Since Einstein||530.11 (G)||Blackwells||Amazon|
|B||Rindler||Introduction to Special Relativity||530.11 (R)||Blackwells||Amazon|
|C||Feynman||Six not-so-easy pieces: Einstein's Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-time||530(F)||Blackwells||Amazon|
(A = essential, B = recommended, C = background.)
Most books on reading lists should also be available from the Blackwells shop at Jessop West.