1st module

(one semester, about 33 hours)

Prof. M. Toller

A.A. 1998/99

  1. The relativity principle and the invariance of the velocity of light in vacuum: a brief historical introduction.
  2. Minkowski space-time; Lorentz and Poincaré groups; transformation of particle velocities; tensor calculus.
  3. The velocity of light in moving media; the aberration of light; Doppler effect; mean life of moving particles; Thomas precession.
  4. Electromagnetic tensor and covariant formulation of the Maxwell equations and of the Lorentz force; four-potential and gauge invariance.
  5. Relativistic particle dynamics; energy-momentum four-vector; conservation laws in relativistic collisions; charged particle in a given electromagnetic field; Lagrangian formulation; invariance of the action; four-current and energy-momentum tensor for a dust of charged particles; relativistic angular momentum and centre-of-mass.
  6. Introduction to classical field theory; action principle and field equations; symmetries and conservation laws (first Noether theorem); energy-momentum and relativistic angular momentum tensors; Hamiltonian formalism.
  7. Action principle for the electromagnetic field; second Noether theorem; singular character of the Lagrangian and constraints in the Hamiltonian formalism; energy-momentum tensor, Poynting vector and three-dimensional Maxwell tensor.
  8. Green functions and retarded potentials; Lienard-Wiechert potentials; radiation of accelerated charges.