### PHSX 141N Einstein's Relativity (Honors Course)

In this course, industrious students with a working knowledge of
algebra and trigonometry and a modest exposure to calculus will gain
deep insight into the counter intuitive nature of space and time and
will acquire a greater appreciation for the power and beauty of
theoretical physics. We will begin with a brief historical view of the
study of motion including the works of Galileo, and Newton. We will
explore the necessity of introducing relativity theory to match known
experimental results. Einstein's special theory of relativity is
introduced from a modern, geometrically oriented perspective, using
space time diagrams throughout, and emphasizing the deep connection
between time and space. We will carefully develop the Lorentz
transformation equations and use them to explore several of the
apparent "paradoxes" of the theory. Finally, we will apply the results
of relativity theory to the practical real world problems of
high-energy particle physics, where the use of relativity is
essential. Throughout the course, we will emphasize the logical
structure of relativity to show how the unexpected and counter
intuitive consequences of the theory follow directly and inevitably
from the principle of relativity: *"the laws of physics are the same
in all inertial reference frames."*

Prerequisites: Working knowledge of high school algebra and trigonometry. Some exposure to high school physics and calculus is preferred.