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Physics 150, Special Relativity: Fall 2022

This material can be found online at URL

Please consider submitting an on-line course evaluation of this course. You can find forms at

Outline for the course, class schedule, etc.

Are you a physics major? If so, consider the advice from one of my fellow physics instructors; you might also peruse this list of aspects of a career in physics written by the Society of Physics Students. The Head of SoPA here at RIT, Professor Kotlarchyk, has put together information that might help you in thinking about your future and career:

Scores so far


Homework sets

In order to use the on-line homework system, you need to know your login name and your initial password. Your "login name" should be the same as your last name, but with lowercase letters only; something like richmond. Your initial password should be the final 4-digits of your student RIT student ID, so if your ID is 456781234, the initial password would be 1234. Include all zeroes: if your ID is 456780012, then your initial password will be 0012. You can change your password from the default after you log in for the first time.
  1. Introduction to Webwork system due Friday, Aug 27, at 5:00 PM.
  2. Converting units, Michelson-Morley experiment due Friday, Sep 2, at 5:00 PM.
  3. Events and a bit of mathematical practice due Friday, Sep 16, at 5:00 PM.
  4. Time dilation due Fri, Sep 23, at 5:00 PM.
  5. Lorentz transformations due Fri, Sep 30, at 5:00 PM.
  6. Relativistic Doppler shifts due Friday, Oct 28, at 5:00 PM.
  7. Twin Paradox due Friday, Nov 11, at 5:00 PM.
  8. Kinetic energy due Tuesday, Nov 22, at 5:00 PM.
  9. Momentum due Monday, Dec 5, at 5:00 PM.

Extra Credit Projects may be turned in any time before the last class meeting.

  1. Measure some space-time intervals
  2. A revised look at the bomb in the attache case
  3. Clumsy aliens
  4. The decay of a proton
  5. Making a solar sail from aluminum foil This project requires a few bits of basic dynamics which you may not have seen in previous courses; please come talk to me in person if you have questions.

For more information:

There are many, many courses on special relativity taught in universities around the world. I'll list just a few here ... but you should search for sites which you enjoy and understand.

This page maintained by Michael Richmond. Last modified Aug 24, 2021.

Creative Commons License Copyright © Michael Richmond. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.