Module Identifier 
MP21010 
Module Title 
RELATIVITY & MECHANICS 
Academic Year 
2007/2008 
Coordinator 
Dr Eleri Pryse 
Semester 
Semester 1 
Other staff 
Professor Keith Birkinshaw 
PreRequisite 
Core Physics Modules at Level 1 or MP14010, MA11010 and MA11210 
Course delivery 
Lecture  20 x 1hour lectures 

Seminars / Tutorials  2 x 1hour seminars/workshops/exercise classes; 2 x 1hour tutorials 
Assessment 
Assessment Type  Assessment Length/Details  Proportion 
Semester Exam  2 Hours written examination  70% 
Semester Assessment  Course Work 2 Example Sheets.
 30% 
Supplementary Exam  2 Hours written examination  100% 

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Describe the basic principles of the special and general theories of relativity;
2. Solve problems in relativity by application of the basic principles and by the selection and use of appropriate mathematical techniques;
3. Provide mathematical models for problems on damped and forced oscillatory systems, simple coupled systems and rotating bodies, solve the mathematical problems and interpret the results in the physical context.
Brief description
Classical mechanics has proved very successful in explaining and predicting the behaviour of bodies moving at low speeds but not at speeds approaching that of light, while relativity deals with the latter situations. This module develops the fundamental concepts and techniques of both of these theories, providing a sound mathematical basis in each case.
Aims
To gain understanding of the classical theory of mechanics and the theory of relativity fundamental to modern physics. The application of mathematics throughout this module ensures that it is suitable as a core module for many honours degree schemes in Mathematics.
Content
RELATIVITY
Special theory
Lorentz transformation; relativistic interval; Minkowski diagram; causality.
Transformation of velocities.
Relativistic optics: aberration of light; Doppler effect.
Relativistic dynamics: E=mc2; energymomentum transformations and fourvector.
Compton scattering.
General theory
Inertial and gravitational mass; Principle of Equivalence.
Gravitational redshift; Clocks in a gravitational field.
Einstein's theory of gravity; geodesics; nonEuclidean spacetime.
The Schwarzschild solution; black holes.
MECHANICS
Harmonic motion: revision of simple harmonic motion, damped and forced harmonic motion.
Coupled oscillators.
Rotational motion: angular momentum and torque, moment of inertia; conservation of angular momentum, gyroscopic motion.
Reading Lists
Books
** Recommended Text
G.R. Fowles and G.L. Cassidy Analytical Mechanics
Saunders College Publishing 0030989744
** Supplementary Text
A.P.French Special Relativity
Van Nostrand Reinhold
G.F.R. French and R.M. Williams Flat and Curved SpaceTimes
Clarendon Press
Notes
This module is at CQFW Level 5