Introduction to Special Relativity, An Indian Adaptation

Robert Resnick

ISBN: 9789354244919


INR 629


Introduction to Special Relativity is a classic text established for use in undergraduate and postgraduate physics courses. The content has a coherence of its own and can be used in multiple ways. It can form part of an introductory physics course to build upon the background in electromagnetism and optics or used in a modern physics course for developing foundations of relativity. In addition, it offers optional material of intrinsic interest as Supplementary Topics and other material of historical, advanced, or special nature as part of chapter text. Worked-out examples, thought-provoking questions and problems of varied levels of difficulty are the useful pedagogical aids.


Chapter 1 / The Experimental Background of the Theory of Special Relativity

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Galilean Transformations

1.3 Newtonian Relativity

1.4 Electromagnetism and Newtonian Relativity

1.5 Attempts to Locate the Absolute Frame—The Michelson–Morley Experiment

1.6 Attempts to Preserve the Concept of a Preferred Ether Frame

1.7 The Postulates of Special Relativity Theory

1.8 Einstein and the Origin of Relativity Theory


Chapter 2 / Relativistic Kinematics

2.1 The Relativity of Simultaneity

2.2 Derivation of the Lorentz Transformation Equations

2.3 Some Consequences of the Lorentz Transformation Equations

2.4 A More Physical Look at the Main Features of the Lorentz Transformation Equations

2.5 The Observer in Relativity

2.6 The Relativistic Addition of Velocities

2.7 Aberration and Doppler Effect in Relativity

2.8 Relativity and Global Positioning System


Chapter 3 / Relativistic Dynamics

3.1 Mechanics and Relativity

3.2 The Need to Redefine Momentum

3.3 Relativistic Momentum

3.4 Alternative Views of Mass in Relativity

3.5 The Relativistic Force Law and the Dynamics

of a Single Particle

3.6 The Equivalence of Mass and Energy

3.7 The Transformation Properties of Momentum, Energy, Mass, and Force


Chapter 4 / Relativity and Electromagnetism

4.1 Introduction

4.2 The Interdependence of Electric and Magnetic Fields

4.3 The Transformation for E and B

4.4 The Field of a Uniformly Moving Point Charge

4.5 Forces and Fields Near a Current-Carrying Wire

4.6 Forces Between Moving Charges

4.7 The Invariance of Maxwell’s Equations

4.8 The Wave Equation

4.9 The Possible Limitations of Special Relativity


Supplementary Topic A

The Geometric Representation of Space-Time

A.1 Space-Time Diagrams

A.2 Simultaneity, Contraction, and Dilation

A.3 The Time Order and Space Separation of Events

Supplementary Topic B

The Algebraic Structure of Space-Time

B.1 Four-Vectors

B.2 Tensors

B.3 Special Relativity in Tensor Notation

B.4 Electromagnetism in Tensor Notation


Supplementary Topic C

The Twin Paradox

C.1 Introduction

C.2 The Route Dependence of Proper Time

C.3 Space-Time Diagram of the “Twin Paradox”

C.4 Some Other Considerations

C.5 An Experimental Test


Supplementary Topic D

The Principle of Equivalence and General Relativity

D.1 Introduction

D.2 The Principle of Equivalence

D.3 The Gravitational Red Shift

D.4 General Relativity Theory


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