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
- Week 1, Day A:
Introduction, parable of the surveyors
- Week 1, Day B:
A bit of history
- Week 1, Day C:
Results of the Michelson-Morley experiment
- Week 2, Day A:
Events: a good choice for units
- Week 2, Day B:
Events: intelligent observers and synchronizing clocks
- Week 2, Day C:
Events: making diagrams
- Week 3, Day A: Review space-time diagram from Week 2, Day C, then
- Week 3, Day B:
- Week 3, Day C:
- Week 4, Day A:
- Week 4, Day B:
The Lorentz transformations
- Week 4, Day C:
Consequences of the Lorentz transformations
- Week 5, Day A:
Paradox: the ladder and the barn
- Week 5, Day B:
Relativistic Doppler effect
- Week 5, Day C: Test
- Week 6, Day A:
- Week 6, Day B:
The expanding universe
- Week 6, Day C:
- Week 7, Day A:
The Twin Paradox, Part I
- Week 7, Day B:
The Twin Paradox, Part II
- Week 7, Day C:
The Twin Paradox, Part III
- Week 8, Day A:
Kinetic Energy in the non-relativistic regime
- Week 8, Day B:
Kinetic Energy in the relativistic regime
- Week 8, Day C:
Momentum in the non-relativistic regime
- Week 9, Day A:
Momentum in the relativistic regime
- Week 9, Day B:
Space-Time and Momentum-Energy
- Week 9, Day C:
Supernova 1987A and the mass of the neutrino (Part I)
- Week 10, Day A:
Supernova 1987A and the mass of the neutrino (Part II)
- Week 10, Day B:
The Compton Effect
- Week 10, Day C: IceCube
- Final Exam:
Thurs, Nov 15, 8:00 - 10:0 AM, room GOS-A300
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.
Introduction to Webwork system
due Thursday, Sep 8, at 5:00 PM.
Converting units, Michelson-Morley experiment
due Thursday, Sep 13, at 5:00 PM.
Events and a bit of mathematical practice
due Thursday, Sep 20, at 5:00 PM.
Time dilation and length contraction
due Thursday, Sep 27, at 5:00 PM.
due Thursday, Oct 4, at 5:00 PM.
Twin Paradox, Part I
due Thursday, Oct 18, at 5:00 PM.
Twin Paradox, Part II
due Thursday, Oct 25, at 5:00 PM.
due Thursday, Nov 1, at 5:00 PM.
due Thursday, Nov 10, at 5:00 PM.
Now due Sat, Nov 10 at 5:00 PM
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
- Nanogravity probe
Due Friday, Sep 28, at 5 PM.
- A neutron telescope?
Due Friday, Oct 12, at 5 PM.
- Building the side-track
Due Friday, Oct 19, at 5 PM.
- Clumsy aliens
Due Friday, Nov 2, at 5 PM.
- The decay of a proton
Due Friday, Nov 9, at 5 PM.
- 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
This page maintained by Michael Richmond.
Last modified Nov 9, 2011.