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PH10004: Dynamics, relativity & gravity

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 10%, EX 90%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: PH10004 - Mandatory Extra Work (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take PH10007 or equivalent.
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aims of this unit are to present students with a clear guide to the laws of dynamics and gravity, to strengthen their understanding of the universality of concepts from mechanics (from fundamental particles to billiard balls to planets) and to introduce them to relativity and relativistic mechanics.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* conserve linear and angular momentum in collisions;
* use vector notation and methods to solve problems in rotational dynamics;
* use conservation of energy to qualitatively describe the motion of particles in potentials and determine the regimes of bound and free motion;
* use Newton's laws to describe the motion of planets and satellites in a gravitational field;
* write down the essential results and formulae of special relativity;
* describe the important special relativity experiments (real or thought);
* solve simple kinematic and dynamical special relativity problems.

Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.

Newton's laws of motion (9 hours): Motion in 1D and 2D with constant and non-constant acceleration. Linear momentum, collisions, rockets. Work and energy; potential energy (potential wells and barriers), conservative and non-conservative forces. Circular motion. Rigid body rotation; moments of inertia, torque and angular momentum as vectors, equations of motion of rotating bodies, gyroscopes. Separation of orbital and spin angular momentum. Use of integration to find centres of mass and moments of inertia.
Gravitation (4 hours): Gravitational force and potential energy. Weight and mass. Circular orbits; Kepler's Laws; planetary motion. Escape velocity. Newtonian cosmology.
Special relativity (7 hours): Galilean transformation. Michelson-Morley experiment. Einstein's postulates. Simultaneity; time dilation, space contraction, invariant intervals, rest frames, proper time, proper length. Lorentz transformation. Relativistic momentum, force, energy. Doppler effect.
General relativity (2 hours): Gravity and geometry. The principle of equivalence. Deflection of light; curvature of space. Gravitational time dilation.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH10004 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USPH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Physics (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 5)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAB06 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKB06 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing with Year long work placement (Year 1)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.