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Module

MAS8804 : Relativity

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Ian Moss
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System

Aims

To introduce the concept of spacetime, the theory of special relativity and the theory of elementary particles.

Module Summary

Starting from situations such as GPS navigation, where the velocity of light plays an important role, 

we explore ideas on the fundamental nature of space and time which form the basis of the theory of 

special relativity. We apply these ideas to the structure of matter at an elementary particle level.

Outline Of Syllabus

Relativity: Metrics and differentials, spacetime, Lorentz boosts, time dilation,

length contraction, four vectors, kinematics, energy and momentum, GR time dilation.

Particles: Standard model, electron-photon interactions; leptons, neutrinos and weak interactions;

quarks and strong interactions; particles as fields, Higgs vacuum and particle masses.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:00Problem Classes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00Revision Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Formal Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion151:0015:00Completion of in course assessments
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study581:0058:00Preparation time for lectures, background reading, and completion of coursework
Total100:00
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
PHY3022Relativity
MAS3804Relativity
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching methods are appropriate to allow students to develop a wide range of skills, from understanding basic concepts and facts to higher-order thinking. Lectures are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on marked work. Problem Classes are used to help develop the students’ abilities at applying the theory to solving problems.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A80N/A
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
Relativity1N/A
Relativity1N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M5Problem-solving exercises assessment
Prob solv exercises1M5Problem-solving exercises assessment
Prob solv exercises1M5Problem-solving exercises assessment
Prob solv exercises1M5Problem-solving exercises assessment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A substantial formal unseen examination is appropriate for the assessment of the material in this module. The format of the examination will enable students to reliably demonstrate their own knowledge, understanding and application of learning outcomes. The assurance of academic integrity forms a necessary part of the programme accreditation.

Examination problems may require a synthesis of concepts and strategies from different sections, while they may have more than one ways for solution. The examination time allows the students to test different strategies, work out examples and gather evidence for deciding on an effective strategy, while carefully articulating their ideas and explicitly citing the theory they are using.

The coursework assignments allow the students to develop their problem solving techniques, to practise the methods learnt in the module, to assess their progress and to receive feedback; these assessments have a secondary formative purpose as well as their primary summative purpose.

Reading Lists

Timetable