Applications of Electromagnetic Theory: Special Relativity and Selected Other Topics

Spring Quarter, 2005
T-Th 7:00-8:50 pm
A110 Physics Astronomy Building

Instructor: R. J. Wilkes
Professor, Department of Physics, B303 PAB, 543-4232

4 credits

Preliminary list of topics to be covered:

Spacetime and inertial frames
Events, clocks, and observers
Principle of relativity, and invariance
Lorentz transform
Simultaneity, worldlines and causality
Momentum, energy and mass
Creation and annihilation

Grades will be based on two reports on topics selected by the student.


  1. Feynman Lectures On Physics, Vol. 2 (any edition), R. Feynman, R. Leighton, M. Sands.
  2. Spacetime Physics: Introduction To Special Relativity, 2nd Ed., E. Taylor, J. Wheeler Freeman, 1992

Optional: Introduction to Electrodynamics, 3rd ed., D. Griffiths, Prentice-Hall. A Traveler's Guide to Spacetime, Thomas A. Moore, McGraw-Hill, 1995. QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, R. Feynman, Princeton, 1988.

Physics 543 or equivalent, or get permission of instructor by email. Calculus, linear algebra, and complex variables.