The Relativity Section of PHY132S - 2009

Some Final Exam Solutions

As part of evaluating some software to record a computer screen I did some but not all of the questions from the recent Final Exam. The results may be viewed at:


These solutions will only be available for a week or so.


I have dropped the following parts of the textbook from the syllabus:

I have added the following from the textbook:

In the table below, I list the topics of the classes. As with the Wave section it will be updated as necessary as we go, and after each class a link in the More column will provide a summary of the class. There are Supplementary Course Notes for the Relativity unit of PHY132, which are available in the next section. We will refer to sections of the those notes as SCN.

Class Major Topics Textbook / Supplementary Notes Reference More
1 (21) - March 23 Einstein's Principle of Relativity
The Michelson-Morley Experiment
§37.1 - §37.3, SCN §A
2 (22) - March 25 Events and Measurements
Time Dilation
§37.4 - §37.6
3 (23) - March 30 Relativistic Doppler Effect
Length Contraction
The Parable of the Surveyors
Spacetime Diagrams
SCN §B, §37.7, SCN §C.1 - C.5
4 (24) - April 1 Addition of Velocities
Relativistic Momentum and Energy
SCN §C.6, §37.9 - §37.10
5 (25) - April 6 Geometry is Physics
Inertia here is due to Mass there
Acceleration is equivalent to gravity
SCN §D.1 - §D.2, Textbook Principle of Equivalence sub-section of §13.3.
6 (26) - April 8 Predictions of the General Theory SCN §D.3 - §D.4
Summary of Relativity
The link is to a pdf of a summary of our discussion of the theories of relativity

Supplementary Course Notes

We will be extending the textbook's coverage in a few ways. We will:

Supplementary Course Notes have been prepared on these topics.

There is an issue regarding the format of such notes. For printing and reading in hardcopy, pdf is the best choice. This is because for html documents I cannot control where page breaks occurs, and often tables, figures, etc. are not rendered correctly. However, for reading on a screen, html is the best. In fact, usability studies indicate that reading pdf documents on a screen can be up to 300% less usable than html. Therefore the notes have been prepared in both html and pdf format.

Below are the links to these two formats. It is almost certain that they will be modified and updated as we proceed, and the date of the last revision of the notes is indicated.

April 14, 2009

Correlating the 1st and 2nd Editions of the Textbook

The Relativity Chapters appear to be identical except in the 1st edition it is Chapter 36 instead of 37. The Principle of Equivalence sub-section of the Newton's Theory of Gravity Chapter is also identical in the two editions, except in the 1st edition it is in Chapter 12.


Dr. David M. Harrison

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