Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

January 1964


Published, copyright © 1964 D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc. Electronic edition published, copyright © 2008 Robert Katz.


It is the purpose of this book to provide an introduction to the Special Theory of Relativity which is accessible to any student who has had an introduction to general physics and some slight acquaintance with the calculus. Much of the material is at a level suitable for high school students who have had advanced placement in physics and mathematics. Since some of the exposition, particularly part of Chapter 6, is presented here in book form for the first time, even terminal graduate students in physics may find the material profitable.

The Galilean Transformation
The Inertial Frame, 9; The Galilean Transformation, 11; The Speed of Light, 17; The Special Theory of Relativity, 24; The Rod Clock, 25

2 The Lorentz Transformation
The Lorentz Transformation, 29; Simultaneity and Time Sequence, 31; Time Dilation, 33; Lorentz Contraction, 34; Velocity Transformations, 37; The Fizeau Experiment, 38; Aberration, 40; Visual Appearance of Rapidly Moving Objects, 44; Transformation of Acceleration, 48

3 Force and Motion
Introduction, 51; Newton's Second Law, 53; The Equivalence Principle, 56; Transformation of Forces, 58

4 Energy and Momentum
Work, 61; Kinetic Energy (Nonrelativistic), 63; Kinetic Energy (Relativistic), 64; Conservation of Linear Momentum, 68; Center of Mass (Nonrelativistic), 71; Transformation of Momentum and Energy (Relativistic). 75; Center of Mass (Relativistic). 78

5 Some Relativistic Phenomena
Pair Production and Annihilation, 83; Compton Effect, 85; Threshold for 7To Meson Production, 87; Doppler Effect, 89; Relativistic Dynamics, 92; Gravitation and Light, 96

6 Relativity and Electromagnetism 103
Introduction, 103; The Lorentz Force, 105; Magnetization and Polarization, 106; Transformations of Fields and Flux Densities, 108; Electromagnetic Induction, 110; Field of a Moving Charge, 114; Transformation of Polarization and Magnetization, 117; The Unipolar Generator, 121; Postscript, 123

General Bibliography 127
Index 129

Included in

Physics Commons