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Introduction to the Relativity Principle

ISBN: 978-0-471-99895-2
240 pages
August 1999
Introduction to the Relativity Principle (0471998958) cover image


Relativity, almost a hundred years old in its classic Einsteinian form, is one of the most fascinating threads running through science from Galileo's day to ours. This book, based on a short course at the University of Sussex, presents relativity as a natural outgrowth of dynamics: the concepts are introduced through careful physical reasoning and simple mathematics, and are then applied over a wide range, well meshed with current undergraduate syllabuses. Features
* An accessible introduction through pre-Einstein relativity
* Scrupulously assessed experimental evidence (mostly modern)
* Elementary mathematics, aimed at a working acquaintance with kinematics, energy and momentum conservation, and the propagation of plane waves
* The book includes many carefully chosen examples and student problems
Introduction to the Relativity Principle is suitable for undergraduates studying physics, also as a preliminary to more formal courses designed for mathematicians.
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Table of Contents


The Relativity Principle, and its Applications in Newtonian Physics.

Einstein's Relativity Principle.


Lorentz Transformations.

Invariant Intervals and Space-Time Diagrams.

Proper Time and Nonuniform Motion.




Particle Dynamics: Momentum and Energy.

Natural Units, and the Prevalence of MeV.

Systems of Particles: Four-Momentum Conservation using Invariants.


Plane Waves.

Light Waves in Empty Space: Aberration and Doppler Effect.



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