Course syllabus

Theory of Relativity

FMF061, 4,5 credits, G2 (First Cycle)

Valid for: 2014/15
Decided by: Education Board B
Date of Decision: 2014-04-08

General Information

Main field: Technology.
Elective for: E4, F2, Pi2
Language of instruction: The course will be given in Swedish


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.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must


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.

Examination details

Grading scale: TH
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.


Required prior knowledge: Basic Mathematics and Mechanics.
The number of participants is limited to: No

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Professor Ingemar Ragnarsson,
Course homepage:
Further information: The course is given as lectures and exercises. In addition, some special applications are discussed in special exercises.