Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Physics and Astronomy


Dr Duncan Galloway



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


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 able to:

  1. Describe the reasons for supplanting Newtonian physics with relativity theory;
  2. Use special relativity to predict the behaviour of relativistic particles;
  3. Discuss the relativistic paradoxes in an informed way;
  4. Display basic knowledge of our current understanding of the beginnings, nature, and fate of the Universe;
  5. Demonstrate an awareness of the current uncertainties in cosmology;
  6. Display skills in analysing physical problems geometrically, thinking logically in a theory at odds with common experience;
  7. Use mathematics to solve complex problems;
  8. Interpret complex mathematical results and communicate them in written form;
  9. Work in a team environment.


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

Workload requirements

  • Three 1-hour lectures per week
  • One 2-hour workshop per week
  • Seven hours of independent study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


MTH2010 or MTH2015. Recommended: MTH2032