Module Identifier | PH21010 | ||

Module Title | RELATIVITY & MECHANICS | ||

Academic Year | 2001/2002 | ||

Co-ordinator | Dr Eleri Pryse | ||

Semester | Semester 1 | ||

Other staff | Dr Keith Birkinshaw | ||

Pre-Requisite | Core Physics Modules at Level 1 | ||

Course delivery | Lecture | 20 lectures | |

Seminars / Tutorials | 2 seminars/workshops/exercise classes; 2 tutorials | ||

Assessment | Course work | Example Sheets Example Sheets 1,2,5,6,7 & 10
Deadlines are detailed in the Year 2 Example Sheet Schedule distributed by the Department
| 30% |

Exam | 2 Hours End of Semester Examinations | 70% |

Classical mechanics is a very old subject with many of its principles being established by Sir Isaac Newton in the seventeenth century, yet it forms a strong foundation to modern physics. It aims to predict the behaviour of systems on the basis of certain postulates that are tested by experimental evidence. Classical mechancis has proved very successful for bodies moving at low speeds but is unable to describe phenomena involving speeds approaching that of light and in this respect it has been superseded by relativity. The module aims to describe some of the fundamental concepts of classical mechanics, and basic principles of relativity.

After taking this module students should be able to:

- understand the basic principles of the special and general theories of relativity and be able to answer relevant problems thereon.
- understand and answer problems on damped and forced oscillatory systems, simple coupled systems and rotating bodies.
- apply Lagrange's equations to simple physical systems.

RELATIVITY

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Special theory
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Lorentz transformation; relativistic interval; Minkowski diagram; causality.

Transformation of velocities.

Relativistic optics: aberration of light; Doppler effect.

Relativistic dynamics: E=mc2; energy-momentum transformations and four-vector.

Compton scattering.

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General theory
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Inertial and gravitational mass; Principle of Equivalence.

Gravitational redshift; Clocks in a gravitational field.

Einstein's theory of gravity; geodesics; non-Euclidean space-time.

The Schwarzschild solution; black holes.

MECHANICS

Harmonic motion: revision of simple harmonic motion, damped and forced harmonic motion.

Coupled osciallators.

Rotational motion: angular momentum and torque, moment of inertia; conservation of angular momentum, gyroscopic motion.

Introduction to Lagrangian mechanics.

G.R. Fowles and G.L. Cassidy.

A.P. French.

G.F.R. Ellis and R.M. Williams.