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Physics of Special Relativity

Course NumberPHY 213
Lab Hours0
Lecture Hours30
Course DescriptionPrerequisites: READING LEVEL 2 and WRITING LEVEL 2 and MATH LEVEL 6, and PHY 111 (or PHY 211) either with a minimum grade of "C" (2.0), or permission of instructor. Explores the implications of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity. Includes both relativistic kinematics and dynamics. Discusses concepts of time dilation, length contraction, the famous equation E=mc², and standard problems such as the Twin Paradox. (30-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Solve special relativity problems or questions.
  1. Solve physics problems of special relativity using the mathematics of algebra or trigonometry.
  2. Analyze some of the seminal problems in relativistic physics such as the Twin Paradox, the Pole Vaulter problem, collisions of relativistic objects.
  3. Describe resolutions to apparent special relativity paradoxes.
  4. Use the postulates of special relativity to solve problems/questions.

Demonstrate understanding of relativistic kinematics.
  1. Demonstrate understanding of the difference between inertial and non-inertial reference frames.
  2. Use the concepts and apply the mathematical relationships for time dilation, length contraction, and relative velocity.
  3. Create space-time diagrams.
  4. Interpret space-time diagrams to answer questions about special relativity.

Demonstrate understanding of relativistic dynamics.
  1. Solve problems/questions related to relativistic energy.
  2. Solve problems/questions related to relativistic momentum.
  3. Describe the modern view of mass in relation to energy.
  4. Describe the binding energy.

Describe basic aspects of General Relativity.
  1. Describe the basic ideas behind General Relativity.
  2. Discuss the effect of gravity on time.

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