Course: Theory of Relativity

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Course title Theory of Relativity
Course code UFY/TRP
Organizational form of instruction Lecture + Lesson
Level of course Master
Year of study not specified
Frequency of the course In each academic year, in the winter semester.
Semester Winter
Number of ECTS credits 3
Language of instruction Czech
Status of course unspecified
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Jelínek Petr, doc. RNDr. Ph.D.
Course content
Content of lectures: 1. What is the relativity? Space and time in classical mechanics. History - development of thinking from Aristotle to Einstein 2. Reference frames in classical mechanics. Newton's laws of classical mechanics. Galileo's transformation, Galileo's principle of relativity 3. Contradiction between electrodynamics and classical mechanics. Maxwell's equations of electromagnetic field, light as electromagnetic waves 4. Finite light speed and its measurement, Romer, Fizeau and Michelson-Morley experiment, consequences of finite light speed - classical light aberration 5. Einstein's special theory of relativity - basic postulates, Lorentz versus Galileo transformation 6. Consequences of Lorentz transformation - time dilation, length contraction, relativity of simultaneity, paradox of twins 7. Relativistic dynamics. Relativistic velocity composition law. Relativistic mass and energy. Equivalence of matter and energy 8. Minkowski spacetime, four-vectors 9. Special relativity in astrophysics, relativistic Doppler effect - longitudinal and transverse, gravitational redshift, relativistic aberration of light 10. Lorentz transform and Maxwell equations of electromagnetic field in spacetime 11. General relativity, principle of equivalence, inertial and gravitational mass, gravity, Einstein's gravitational law 12. Predictions of general relativity theory, black holes, gravitational waves, gravitational lenses 13. Experimental verification of general relativity theory. Cosmology, models of the universe, expansion of the universe, relativistic cosmology Content of practicals: Practical examples of special and general relativity theory and their applications in astrophysics

Learning activities and teaching methods
Monologic (reading, lecture, briefing)
  • Class attendance - 26 hours per semester
  • Preparation for credit - 15 hours per semester
  • Preparation for classes - 13 hours per semester
  • Preparation for exam - 21 hours per semester
Learning outcomes
The aim of the course is to provide students with basic knowledge of special and general theory of relativity. Students will be able to understand the basic problems of these disciplines and their applications in astrophysics.
After completing the course the student will be able to orientate in the basic problems of the theory of relativity, both special and general. He will be able to understand the phenomena in astrophysics and cosmology that are related to the theory of relativity.
Prerequisite is the completion of general physics and mathematics courses. Knowledge of differential and integral calculus.

Assessment methods and criteria
Combined exam

Active student participation in lectures and 80% participation in seminars. Completion of 70% of examples from exercises, answering at least 80% of the content of the questions in the exam.
Recommended literature
  • Bartuška K.: Kapitoly ze speciální teorie relativity. SPN, Praha 1989.
  • Dvořák, L.: Obecná teorie relativity a moderní fyzikální obraz vesmíru, SPN, Praha 1984.
  • Hawking, S., Penrose, R.: Povaha prostoru a času, Academia, Praha 2000.
  • Horský, J., Novotný, J., Štefaník, M.: Úvod do fyzikální kosmologie, Acacemia, Praha 2004.
  • Votruba V.: Základy speciální teorie relativity. Academia, Praha 1977. (vybrané kapitoly).
  • Zee A: Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell, Princeton University Press, 2013.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Category of Branch/Specialization Recommended year of study Recommended semester