THEORY OF RELATIVITY FMF061

Higher education credits: 4,5. Grading scale: TH. Level: G2 (First level). Language of instruction: The course will be given in Swedish. Optional for: E2, F2, Pi2. Course coordinator: Professor Thomas Guhr, thomas.guhr@matfys.lth.se, Fysik, kurslaboratoriet. Recommended prerequisits: Basic Mathematics and Mechanics. Assessment: The exam is written: the students are asked to individually work on problems which require explanations in essay-style or calculations. Grades are given according to the exam results. Home page: http://www.matfys.lth.se/relativitetsteori.html.

Aim
Aim of the course is to introduce to the theory of relativity and its ideas. Basic concepts such as time and space are treated, and we interpret the geometry in four-dimensional space-time. The Lorentz transformation is introduced to give the invariants a central role. Particle kinematics and dynamics is applied to atomic, nuclear and particle physics, and furthermore some electromagnetic phenomena are discussed.
The course gives the possibility to study and reflect the fascinating phenomenology of relativity. Emphasis is put on the understanding of concepts. The students are encouraged to actively discuss, explain and reflect the content of the course. The course aims at inspiring the students by establishing connections to fundamental philosophical issues as well as problems in physics and technology.

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

• know the foundations of relativistic mechanics as well as have a geometric understanding of four-dimensional space-time.

• know applications within physics and technology which require relativity for a full understanding.

• have an overview of the basics in relativity needed to understand the standard modell in particle physics.

Skills and abilities
For a passing grade the student must

• be able to carry out calculations in simple applications.

• have developed competence in analyzing problems in relativity with mathematical methods.

• be able to describe and discuss the most important physical phenomena involving relativity.

• be able to explain basic theoretical and mathematical concepts to analyze phenomena.

• understand not too difficult scientic articles about relativity.

• be able to use information from other sources to solve new problems.

Contents
Concept of time and space. Measurement of time intervals and distances. Lorentz
transformation. Invariants. Conservation laws as consequences of invariants. Applications
within atomic, nuclear and particle physics. Brief heuristic discussion of
general relativity.

Literature
Lecture notes.