The lectures are on Mondays at 11am and Tuesdays at 9am.
Problem sheets 1-4 can be found here in postcript format and here in pdf format
The class allocation list can be found here. (This may not contain changes made after the end of first week.)
The full lecture notes are now available here: in postscript format or in pdf (acrobat reader) format. The notes are also available in compressed form with two pages to a side for cheaper printing in postscript or in pdf.
The handout `Useful vector formulae' from lecture 2 is linked in here in postscript or here in pdf.
[To read and print the pdf versions, you will need Adobe Acrobat™ Reader 3.0 (or higher). This utility is made available free of charge by Adobe Systems Inc. and may be downloaded from theirweb-site. ]
Relativity and Electromagnetism,
16 Lectures, HT by Dr L.J.Mason
Maxwell's electromagnetic theory revealed light as an electromagnetic phenomenon. Its speed proved to be observer independent, a discovery which led to the overthrow of classical Newtonian mechanics, in which time was absolute. The aim of the course is to study Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and Maxwell's electrodynamics, which have necessitated profound changes in our ideas of space and time. These theories together with Quantum Theory are essential for an understanding of modern physics.
- Introduction to Maxwell's electromagnetic equations. Constancy of the speed of light. Lorentz transformations and the invariance of the wave operator. Time dilation, length contraction and the relativistic Doppler effect. Simple `paradoxes'.
- Four-vectors; four-velocity and four-momentum; equivalence of mass and energy. Particle collisions and four-momentum conservation. Four-acceleration and four force. Example of trajectory with constant proper acceleration.
- Maxwell's equations in vacuo (with sources); the Lorentz force law. Scalar and vector potentials; the four-potential. Gauge invariance; Maxwell's equations in Lorentz gauge. Plane waves and their polarization. Energy density and the Poynting vector.
- The electromagnetic field tensor. The transformation law for the electric and magnetic field. The Lorentz four-force law.
W. Rindler, Introduction to Special Relativity, 2nd edition, OUP (1991).
N.M.J. Woodhouse, Notes on Relativity and Electromagnetism B7, Institute Notes (1988)
R. Penrose, The Emperor's New Mind , OUP (1989) pp. 150-201.
J. Stachel (editor), Einstein's Miraculous Year , Princeton (1998) part 3.
14/1/99, Lionel Mason.