Physics 200, Section 01, Special Relativity: Fall 2012

This material can be found online at URL

Final Exam: GOS-A300 8 AM - 10 AM, Thursday Nov 15. You may bring one sheet of paper, 8.5 x 11 inches or smaller, on which you may write notes by hand.

Note: HW Set 9 with Practice Problems will not count toward your grade, but will give you practice.

Outline for the course, class schedule, etc.

Are you a physics major? If so, consider the advice from one of my fellow physics instructors.

Scores on Test 1


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 RIT E-mail address, something like abc1234. Your initial password should be the final 4-digits of your student RIT E-mail address, so if your E-mail address is abc1234, the initial password would be 1234. Include all zeroes: if your E-mail address is abc0211, then your initial password will be 0211. You can change your password from the default after you log in for the first time.
  1. Introduction to Webwork system due Thursday, Sep 8, at 5:00 PM.
  2. Converting units, Michelson-Morley experiment due Thursday, Sep 13, at 5:00 PM.
  3. Events and a bit of mathematical practice due Thursday, Sep 20, at 5:00 PM.
  4. Time dilation and length contraction due Thursday, Sep 27, at 5:00 PM.
  5. Lorentz transformations due Thursday, Oct 4, at 5:00 PM.
  6. Twin Paradox, Part I due Thursday, Oct 18, at 5:00 PM.
  7. Twin Paradox, Part II due Thursday, Oct 25, at 5:00 PM.
  8. Kinetic energy due Thursday, Nov 1, at 5:00 PM.
  9. Momentum due Thursday, Nov 10, at 5:00 PM. Now due Sat, Nov 10 at 5:00 PM
  10. Practice problems
    which do NOT count towards your grade, but simply give you practice. Answers will be revealed on Tuesday, Nov 13, at 5:00 PM.

Extra Credit Projects

  1. Nanogravity probe Due Friday, Sep 28, at 5 PM.
  2. A neutron telescope? Due Friday, Oct 12, at 5 PM.
  3. Building the side-track Due Friday, Oct 19, at 5 PM.
  4. Clumsy aliens Due Friday, Nov 2, at 5 PM.
  5. The decay of a proton Due Friday, Nov 9, at 5 PM.
  6. 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. Due Friday Nov 11, at 5 PM.

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 Nov 9, 2011.