Physics 200, Section 01, Special Relativity: Fall 2012
This material can be found online at URL
http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/phys200/phys200.html
Final Exam: GOSA300 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
Lectures
 Week 1, Day A:
Introduction, parable of the surveyors
 Week 1, Day B:
A bit of history
 Week 1, Day C:
Results of the MichelsonMorley 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 spacetime diagram from Week 2, Day C, then
Inertial frames
 Week 3, Day B:
Time dilation
 Week 3, Day C:
Length contraction
 Week 4, Day A:
Galilean transformations
 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:
Astronomical Spectra
 Week 6, Day B:
The expanding universe
 Week 6, Day C:
Superluminal motions?
 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 nonrelativistic regime
 Week 8, Day B:
Kinetic Energy in the relativistic regime
 Week 8, Day C:
Momentum in the nonrelativistic regime
 Week 9, Day A:
Momentum in the relativistic regime
 Week 9, Day B:
SpaceTime and MomentumEnergy
 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 GOSA300
Homework sets
In order to use the online homework system,
you need to know your login name and your initial password.
Your "login name" should be the same as your RIT Email address,
something like abc1234.
Your initial password should be
the final 4digits of your student RIT Email address,
so if your Email address is abc1234, the
initial password would be 1234.
Include all zeroes: if your Email 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, MichelsonMorley 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.

Lorentz transformations
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.

Kinetic energy
due Thursday, Nov 1, at 5:00 PM.

Momentum
due Thursday, Nov 10, at 5:00 PM.
Now due Sat, Nov 10 at 5:00 PM

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
 Nanogravity probe
Due Friday, Sep 28, at 5 PM.
 A neutron telescope?
Due Friday, Oct 12, at 5 PM.
 Building the sidetrack
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
and understand.
This page maintained by Michael Richmond.
Last modified Nov 9, 2011.