Pub. Date:
Springer London
Special Relativity / Edition 1

Special Relativity / Edition 1

by N.M.J. WoodhouseN.M.J. Woodhouse


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This book provides readers with the tools needed to understand the physical basis of special relativity and will enable a confident mathematical understanding of Minkowski's picture of space-time. It features a large number of examples and exercises, ranging from the rather simple through to the more involved and challenging. Coverage includes acceleration and tensors and has an emphasis on space-time diagrams.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781852334260
Publisher: Springer London
Publication date: 04/02/2007
Series: Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series
Edition description: 1st Corrected ed. 2003. Corr. 2nd printing 2007
Pages: 196
Product dimensions: 7.01(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.02(d)

Table of Contents

1. Relativity in Classical Mechanics.- 1.1 Frames of Reference.- 1.2 Relativity.- 1.3 Frames of Reference.- 1.4 Newton’s Laws.- 1.5 Galilean Transformations.- 1.6 Mass, Energy, and Momentum.- 1.7 Space-time.- 1.8 *Galilean Symmetries.- 1.9 Historical Note.- 2. Maxwell’s Theory.- 2.1 Introduction.- 2.2 The Unification of Electricity and Magnetism.- 2.3 Charges, Fields, and the Lorentz Force Law.- 2.4 Stationary Distributions of Charge.- 2.5 The Divergence of the Magnetic Field.- 2.6 Inconsistency with Galilean Relativity.- 2.7 The Limits of Galilean Invariance.- 2.8 Faraday’s Law of Induction.- 2.9 The Field of Charges in Uniform Motion.- 2.10 Maxwell’s Equations.- 2.11 The Continuity Equation.- 2.12 Conservation of Charge.- 2.13 Historical Note.- 3. The Propagation of Light.- 3.1 The Displacement Current.- 3.2 The Source-free Equations.- 3.3 The Wave Equation.- 3.4 Monochromatic Plane Waves.- 3.5 Polarization.- 3.6 Potentials.- 3.7 Gauge Transformations.- 3.8 Photons.- 3.9 Relativity and the Propagation of Light.- 3.10 The Michelson-Morley Experiment.- 4. Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.- 4.1 Lorentz’s Contraction.- 4.2 Operational Definitions of Distance and Time.- 4.3 The Relativity of Simultaneity.- 4.4 Bondi’s fc-Factor.- 4.5 Time Dilation.- 4.6 The Two-dimensional Lorentz Transformation.- 4.7 Transformation of Velocity.- 4.8 The Lorentz Contraction.- 4.9 Composition of Lorentz Transformations.- 4.10 Rapidity.- 4.11 *The Lorentz and Poincaré Groups.- 5. Lorentz Transformations in Four Dimensions.- 5.1 Coordinates in Four Dimensions.- 5.2 Four-dimensional Coordinate Transformations.- 5.3 The Lorentz Transformation in Four Dimensions.- 5.4 The Standard Lorentz Transformation.- 5.5 The General Lorentz Transformation.- 5.6 Euclidean Space and Minkowski Space.- 5.7 Four-vectors.- 5.8 Temporal and Spatial Parts.- 5.9 The Inner Product.- 5.10 Classification of Four-vectors.- 5.11 Causal Structure of Minkowski Space.- 5.12 Invariant Operators.- 5.13 The Frequency Four-vector.- 5.14 * Affine Spaces and Covectors.- 6. Relative Motion.- 6.1 Transformations Between Frames.- 6.2 Proper Time.- 6.3 Four-velocity.- 6.4 Four-acceleration.- 6.5 Constant Acceleration.- 6.6 Continuous Distributions.- 6.7 *Rigid Body Motion.- 6.8 Visual Observation.- 7. Relativistic Collisions.- 7.1 The Operational Definition of Mass.- 7.2 Conservation of Four-momentum.- 7.3 Equivalence of Mass and Energy.- 8. Relativistic Electrodynamics.- 8.1 Lorentz Transformations of E and B.- 8.2 The Four-Current and the Four-potential.- 8.3 Transformations of E and B.- 8.4 Linearly Polarized Plane Waves.- 8.5 Electromagnetic Energy.- 8.6 The Four-momentum of a Photon.- 8.7 *Advanced and Retarded Solutions.- 9. *Tensors and Isomet ries.- 9.1 Affine Space.- 9.2 The Lorentz Group.- 9.3 Tensors.- 9.4 The Tensor Product.- 9.5 Tensors in Minkowski Space.- 9.6 Tensor Components.- 9.7 Examples of Tensors.- 9.8 One-parameter Subgroups.- 9.9 Isometries.- 9.10 The Riemann Sphere and Spinors.- Notes on Exercises.- Vector Calculus.

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