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.
- First semester 2017 (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:
- Describe the reasons for supplanting Newtonian physics with relativity theory;
- Use special relativity to predict the behaviour of relativistic particles;
- Discuss the relativistic paradoxes in an informed way;
- Display basic knowledge of our current understanding of the beginnings, nature, and fate of the Universe;
- Demonstrate an awareness of the current uncertainties in cosmology;
- Display skills in analysing physical problems geometrically, thinking logically in a theory at odds with common experience;
- Use mathematics to solve complex problems;
- Interpret complex mathematical results and communicate them in written form;
- Work in a team environment.
Examination (3 hours): 70%
Laboratory work and reports: 30%
- Three 1-hour lectures per week
- One 2-hour workshop per week
- Seven hours of independent study per week
See also Unit timetable information