Mechanics and Relativity

Faculteit Science and Engineering
Jaar 2020/21
Vakcode WBPH001-10
Vaknaam Mechanics and Relativity
Niveau(s) propedeuse
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I

Uitgebreide vaknaam Mechanics and Relativity
Leerdoelen Upon completion of this course, the student is able to:
1. describe the main postulates of special relativity and to reproduce elementary formulae;
2. analyze, reformulate in event terms, and solve simple problems in special relativity;
3. apply Newton’s laws using free-body diagrams to derive and solve the equations of translational motion of objects in multiple spatial dimensions;
4. describe two-dimensional motion in a rotating frame of reference with due account of fictitious forces;
5. recognize and describe simple harmonic oscillators;
6. classify when and know how to apply the conservation laws of energy and momentum;
7. apply the relation between angular momentum and torque to derive and solve the equations of rotational motion for sets of particles and for rigid bodies;
8. solve simple physics problems by dimensional analysis;
9. make order of magnitude estimates given limited available information and without the use of a calculator.
Omschrijving This course deals with two intertwined topics: classical mechanics and special relativity. The following elements are treated, in order of increasing mathematical complexity:
• Special theory of relativity (principle of relativity, synchronization of clocks, the nature of time, the metric equation, proper time, coordinate transformations, Lorentz contraction, cosmic speed limit, and conservation of four-momentum);
• Newtonian mechanics of particles in two dimensions (vectorial form of Newton's laws, Cartesian and polar coordinates, statics, projectile motion, work, kinetic energy, potential energy and momentum, conservation laws, collisions, simple harmonic oscillator, fictitious forces);
• Dynamics of rigid bodies in two and, to minor extent, in three dimensions (angular momentum, moment of inertia, torque, conservation of angular momentum, precession).

Furthermore, the student will be able to calculate in natural units and dimensions, and without the use of a pocket calculator compute simple physics problems. The student can make quick “Fermi” estimates, correct within at least an order of magnitude, of quantities given limited available information.
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm Hoorcollege (LC), Werkcollege (T)
(LC 64, T 56 hrs, self study 160)
Toetsvorm Schriftelijk tentamen (WE)
(2 written exam over period Ia and IIa, comprised of three cumulative tests with weight factors 0.2, 0.3 and 0.5. These tests will be held after 3, 6 and 8 weeks each period.)
Vaksoort propedeuse
Coördinator dr. ir. C.J.G. Onderwater
Docent(en) P.D. Meerburg, PhD. ,dr. ir. C.J.G. Onderwater
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Mechanics & Relativity
(Custom Edition University of Groningen)
McGraw-Hill Education 2020
T.A. Moore 978-1-3075-9349-5
Opmerkingen The first part of this course unit, taught and assessed in period Ia, coincides with Mechanics & Relativity 1 for first-year Mathematics students. Mechanics & Relativity 2 is an elective for Mathematics students and coincides with the lectures, tutorials and exams of Mechanics & Relativity (WPPH16006) in period Ib.

Each of the cumulative grades for both written exams for periods Ia and Ib respectively need to be higher than 4.

If you already bought/have Six Ideas that shaped Physics, unit R-- The laws of physics are frame independent, 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill - T.A. Moore - ISBN 9780077600952, this should be sufficient as well.

This course was registered last year with course code WPPH16006
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
BSc Applied Physics 1 semester I verplicht
BSc Astronomy 1 semester I verplicht
BSc Courses for Exchange Students: Astronomy - Physics - Energy & Environment - semester I
BSc Mathematics and Physics (double degree) 1 semester I verplicht
BSc Physics 1 semester I verplicht