Katherine Blundell


The notes below refer to the Special Relativity course for 1st year undergraduates reading Physics or Physics & Philosophy in Michaelmas Term 2013


  • Special theory of relativity restricted throughout to problems in one or two space dimensions. The constancy of the speed of light; simultaneity. The Lorentz transformation (derivation not required). Time dilation and length contraction. The addition of velocities. Invariance of the space-time interval. Proper time. Energy, momentum, rest mass and their relationship for a single particle. Conservation of energy and momentum and the use of invariants in the formation sub-atomic particles. Elementary kinematics of the scattering and decay of sub-atomic particles, including photon scattering. Relativistic Doppler effect (longitudinal only).
    This is reproduced from the Oxford Physics undergraduate handbook.

Problem Sheets

  • Problem Sheet 1
  • Problem Sheet 2
  • Schedule

    Day Oxford Week Gregorian calendar Time Location
    Mon 4 4-Nov-2013 11-12 Martin Wood LT
    Tues 4 5-Nov-2013 11-12 Martin Wood LT
    Mon 5 11-Nov-2013 10-11 Martin Wood LT
    Tues 5 12-Nov-2013 10-11 Martin Wood LT
    Mon 6 18-Nov-2013 10-11 Martin Wood LT
    Tues 6 19-Nov-2013 10-11 Martin Wood LT
    Mon 7 25-Nov-2013 10-11 Martin Wood LT
    Tues 7 26-Nov-2013 10-11 Martin Wood LT
    Mon 8 2-Dec-2013 10-11 Martin Wood LT
    Tues 8 3-Dec-2013 10-11 Martin Wood LT


    • The Wonderful World of Relativity, Andrew M. Steane, (OUP, 2011. A local author!)
    • Special Relativity, A P French, (MIT, Physics Series) [Nelson, 1968]
    • Spacetime Physics, E F Taylor & J A Wheeler (Freeman, 1992) Several publishers including Nelson, Chapman & Hall.
    • Introductory Special Relativity, W G V Rosser
    • Lectures on Special Relativity, M G Bowler (Pergamon, 1986)
    • Special Theory of Relativity, H Muirhead, (Macmillan)
    • Introducing Special Relativity, W S C Williams (Taylor & Francis, 2002)