Module Specifications..
Current Academic Year 2023  2024
Please note that this information is subject to change.
 
Repeat examination Array 

Description The first part of this module introduces the central ideas of the theory of relativity, and shows how these ideas lead to radical changes in our view of basic physical concepts, including space, time, energy and mass. We will see how a consistent relativistic approach leads to surprising results such as time dilation and the equivalance of mass and energy. In the second part of the module, we examine the influence of relativistic concepts in modern physics, ranging from the structure of the universe to nuclear physics.  
Learning Outcomes 1. Explain the central ideas of relativity theory, and contrast with them corresponding elements in classical theory 2. Express these central ideas in terms of the formal postulates of relativity theory 3. Show how the main relativistic effects (time dilation, Lorentz contraction, simultaneity failure, massenergy equivalence), follow from the postulates 4. Solve problems involving the application of relativistic concepts 5. Explain how relativity theory applies to specific areas of modern physics (cosmology, atomic theory, nuclear physics) 6. Solve problems involving relativistic ideas in modern physics  
All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml 

Indicative Content and Learning Activities
Einstein's postulates The alarming discovery that classical mechanics and the Maxwell electromagnetic theory are contradictory. Einstein's surprising conclusion that classical mechanics is at fault. Einstein's postulates of Special Relativity. Special Relativity and its consequences The implications of Einstein's postulates: Time dilation, Lorentz contraction, simultaneity failure, equivalance of mass and energy. Various examples of the use of these ideas and their unexpected consequences. General Relativity and Cosmology Introduction to the central ideas of General Relativity (the Einsteinian theory of gravity). Ideas about curved spacetime. Nuclear physics Relativistic ideas applied to nuclear physics. Nuclear structure. Particle Physics Subatomic particles and the four forces of nature. Classification of particles.  
 
Indicative Reading List
 
Other Resources None  
Programme or List of Programmes  
Date of Last Revision  04FEB10  
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