Physics 9HB is the second course in the honors introductory physics series. It covers two natural continuations from the previous course in classical mechanics – special relativity and thermal/statistical physics.
- Starting with what at first might seem like the most innocuous (and reasonable) assumptions, Albert Einstein upended the physics world with a theory so shockingly counterintuitive that it took decades to gain full acceptance. Before we develop the more formal elements of the theory of relativity, we will have a look at the most basic conceptual implications of the theory.
- We now begin to develop the basic formalism of special relativity wherein we introduce mathematical tools for dealing with the effects that relative motion has on any phenomena. In classical mechanics, we first studied how to talk about motion (kinematics), and later followed up with what underlies the causes of these motions, namely force, energy and momentum (dynamics). We follow a similar path here
- It's clear from the Lorentz transformations that space and time "mix" into one another in ways that they do not in the Galilean transformation. Here we will explore the notion of placing space and time on equal footings, and a greater insight into what relativity is about is the result.