# ASP3051 - Relativity and cosmology

## 6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

#### Offered

Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)

#### Synopsis

Newtonian physics and Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, the geometry of spacetime, the Minkowski metric, Lorentz transformations, k-calculus, and four-vectors; the physics of spacetime, momentum and energy; classical paradoxes; other metrics, Black Holes; observation of the Universe relevant to Cosmology; the expansion of the Universe, the Cosmic Background Radiation; the evolution of the Universe, propagation of light; primordial elements and recent observations. Students may optionally choose to take part in the field trip.

#### Objectives

On completion of this unit, students will be aware of the reasons for supplanting Newtonian physics with relativity theory; be able to use special relativity to predict the behaviour of relativistic particles; have gained the capacity to discuss the relativistic paradoxes in an informed way; have a basic knowledge of our current understanding of the beginnings, nature, and fate of the Universe; be aware of the current uncertainties in cosmology. Students will also have developed skills in: analysing physical problems geometrically; thinking logically in a theory at odds with common experience; communicating and interpreting complex results; the use of mathematics to solve complex problems; interpreting mathematical results and presenting them in written form; making verbal and visual presentations of their results; working in a team environment.

#### Assessment

Examination (3 hours): 70%

Laboratory work and reports: 20%

Field-trip report: 10%

#### Contact hours

The equivalent of three 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour laboratory/support class per week

#### Prerequisites

MTH2010; recommended MTH2032

#### Prohibitions

ASP2052, ASP3042, ASP3052, ASP3121, MAT3061 or MAT3142