Faculty of Science

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Anthony Lun


Newtonian physics and Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, the geometry of space-time, the Minkowski metric, Lorentz transformations, k-calculus, and four-vectors; the physics of space-time, 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.


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; strengthening the ability to make verbal and visual presentations of their results; working in a team environment.


Examination (3 hours): 70%
Laboratory work and reports: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Anthony Lun

Contact hours

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


MTH2010 or MTH2015. Recommended: MTH2032


ASP2052, ASP3052