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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2011/2012
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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Dynamics and Relativity (PHYS09014)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website http://www2.ph.ed.ac.uk/teaching/course-notes/notes/list/62 Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course emphasises frames of reference in discussing the classical mechanics of particles. It starts with a review of Newtonian mechanics, the importance of inertial frames and the classical description of collisions and scattering processes. Non-inertial frames are introduced, leading to a discussion of the centrifugal and Coriolis forces. There follows a substantial section on Special Relativity, which introduces Lorentz transformations, Minkowski spacetime, relativistic kinematics, and the application of four-vector methods to particle collisions and decays. The course concludes with an introduction to General Relativity through a discussion of the equivalence principle, and the idea of curved spacetime.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Foundations of Mathematical Physics (PHYS08024) OR ( MP2A: Vectors, Tensors and Fields (PHYS08032) AND MP2B: Dynamics (PHYS08033)) OR ( Applicable Mathematics 4 (Phys Sci) (MATH08017) AND Mathematical Methods 4 (Phys Sci) (MATH08018))
Students MUST have passed: Physics 2A (PHYS08022) AND Physics 2B (PHYS08023)
Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 09:00 - 09:50
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 09:00 - 09:50
King's BuildingsTutorial3-5,7-11 09:00 - 10:50
First Class Week 1, Monday, 09:00 - 09:50, Zone: King's Buildings. Lecture
Additional information Workshop/tutorial sessions, as arranged.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 1, Part-year visiting students only (VV1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 09:00 - 09:50
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 09:00 - 09:50
King's BuildingsTutorial3-5,7-11 09:00 - 10:50
First Class Week 1, Monday, 09:00 - 09:50, Zone: King's Buildings. LTB - JCMB
Additional information Workshop/tutorial sessions, as arranged.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course it is intended that a student will be able to:
1)state the definition of an 'inertial frame', understand the virtues of using the 'Lab' and 'Centre of Mass' frames and exploit them in problem-solving by means of the Galilean transformation
2)Apply appropriate conservation laws to two particle scattering problems, and hence determine scattering trajectories, differential cross-sections and total cross-sections;
3)Explain the occurrence of 'fictitious forces' in accelerating reference frames;
4)Interpret and apply formulae for the centrifugal and coriolis forces in a rotating frame'
5)State the postulates of Special Relativity and discuss their implications for 'simultaneity';
6)State the Lorentz transformation and demonstrate the utility of Minkowski diagrams;
7)Apply the Lorentz transformation in problem solving and use it to derive time dilation, length contraction and velocity addition formulae;
8)State the definition of 4-vectors, demonstrate the Lorentz invariance of their scalar products and appreciate their significance in the context of causality;
9)Apply the 4-vector formulation of relativistic dynamics to particle decays and relativistic collisions;
10)Discuss 'Equivalence' and space-time curvature, and derive the gravitational Doppler shift formula.
Assessment Information
Coursework, 10%
Degree Examination, 90%
Visiting Student Variant Assessment
Coursework, 10%
Degree Examination, 90%
Special Arrangements
None
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus & Newton's laws, single particle dynamics and classical relativity
& Introduction to the calculus of variations and Lagrangian dynamics
& Beyond inertial frames, centrifugal and Coriolis forces
& Two body systems, collisions and scattering
& Lorentz transformations 4-vectors and relativistic dynamics
& Particle decays
& Relativistic scattering
& Introduction to General relativity
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsDynRe
Contacts
Course organiserDr Jamie Cole
Tel: (0131 6)50 5999
Email: R.J.Cole@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Laura Gonzalez-Rienda
Tel: (0131 6)51 7067
Email: l.gonzalez@ed.ac.uk
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