PHYSICS 61: Mechanics and Special Relativity
(First in a threepart advanced freshman physics series:
PHYSICS 61,
PHYSICS 63,
PHYSICS 65.) This course covers Einstein's special theory of relativity and Newtonian mechanics at a level appropriate for students with a strong high school mathematics and physics background, who are contemplating a major in Physics or Engineering Physics, or are interested in a rigorous treatment of physics. Postulates of special relativity, simultaneity, time dilation, length contraction, the Lorentz transformation, causality, and relativistic mechanics. Central forces, contact forces, linear restoring forces. Momentum transport, work, energy, collisions. Angular momentum, torque, moment of inertia in three dimensions. Damped and forced harmonic oscillators. Uses the language of vectors and multivariable calculus. In order to register for this class students must EITHER have already taken an introductory Physics class (20, 40, or 60 sequence) or have taken the Physics Placement Diagnostic at
https://physics.stanford.edu/academics/undergraduatestudents/placementdiagnostic. Recommended prerequisites: Mastery of mechanics at the level of AP Physics C and AP Calculus BC or equivalent. Corequisite:
MATH 51 or
MATH 61CM or
MATH 61DM.
Terms: Aut

Units: 4

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYFR, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors:
Burchat, P. (PI)
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