The University of Hong Kong
Department of Physics
PHYS2055/PHYS1304 Introduction To Relativity
This page is closed for the year 2013-2014,
and has NOT been updated for the year 2014-2015.
This course aims at introducing students the essence of special
relativity. It is designed as an elective for students in all
disciplines and all years with science background.
Topics include: "Common-sense" concepts of space and time versus
Einstein's conceptions of space and time, examples of time dilation
and space contraction, paradoxes of relativity including the famous
twin paradox and the "pole-in-the-barn", four vectors and Lorentz
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
- Recall the setup and significance of Michelson-Morley experiment.
- State the basic postulates and the spacetime concept of special relativity.
- Explain time dilation and length contraction.
- Describe Lorentz transformation and its applications.
- State the resolution of the twin and pole-in-the-barn paradoxes.
Assignments and Test
- The graded Assignment 1, 2, 3, Test and Assignment 4 could be picked
up in front of the General Office, Rm 518 CYM Phys. Buld.
- Student Evaluation of Teaching and Learning (SETL):
- Date: Mon., May 19, 2014
- Time: 9:30am-11:30am
- Venue: Rm 9 Library Ext.
- There will be five short questions, in a format
similar to the assignments.
Monday 12:30pm-2:20pm, KB223;
Thursday 12:30pm-1:20pm, KB223.
Dr. Kai-Ming Lee
Rm 415A, CYM Phys. Buld.
Consultation Hour: Wed. 2-4pm
Tutor and Grader
Mr. Xie Biye, Rm 525, 28592571.
One 2-hour written examination (50%).
Test ( April ) (29%).
Homework ( 4 assignments ) (21%).
Textbook and References
You could download the lecture note in pdf format here.
Robert Resnick and David Halliday, Basic Concepts in Relativity and Early
Quantum Theory, Macmillan Pub., 1992.
Edwin F. Taylor and John A. Wheeler, Spacetime Physics: Introduction to
Special Relativity, Freeman, 1992.