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Unit of study_

PHYS2913: Astrophysics and Relativity (Advanced)

This unit of study builds on the foundation provided by Junior Physics and first semester of Intermediate Physics, to provide introductions to Special Relativity (Space and time at high velocities) and Cosmology (Structure and evolution of the Universe). In Special Relativity, you will learn about Einstein's theory of special relativity, relative motion, twin paradox, Doppler shift, Lorentz transformations, spacetime and causality, relativistic momentum, relativistic kinetic energy, and mass as a measure of energy. In Cosmology/Astrophysics, you will learn about cosmological models, the cosmological principle, the Friedmann equations, the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker metric, cosmological redshift, the cosmic microwave background radiation, the thermal history of the Universe, inflation, dark matter and dark energy. Practical: Experimental Physics is taught as a laboratory module and includes experiments in the areas of analysis of stellar images, electromagnetic phenomena, electronic instrumentation, quantum physics, and other topics. Assessment is based on mastery of each attempted experiment. At the end of the semester students may work in teams on a project. Students prepare a written report and oral presentation on their project or one experiment.

Code PHYS2913
Academic unit Physics Academic Operations
Credit points 6
65 or above in (PHYS1003 or PHYS1004 or PHYS1902 or PHYS1904) and 65 or above in (PHYS1001 or PHYS1002 or PHYS1901 or PHYS1903 or PHYS2011 or PHYS2911 or PHYS2921)
PHYS2013 or PHYS2923
Assumed knowledge:
(MATH1X21 or MATH1931 or MATH1X01 or MATH1906 or MATH1011) and (MATH1X02) and (MATH1X23 or MATH1933 or MATH1X03 or MATH1907 or MATH1013) and (MATH1X04 or MATH1X05)

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand the key concepts in special relativity and cosmology
  • LO2. apply these concepts to develop models, and to solve qualitative and quantitative problems in scientific and engineering contexts, using appropriate mathematical and computing techniques as necessary
  • LO3. understand the nature of scientific measurement, and skills in the measurement of physical quantities and the handling of data
  • LO4. find and analyse information and judge its reliability and significance
  • LO5. communicate scientific information appropriately, both orally and through written work
  • LO6. demonstrate a sense of responsibility, ethical behaviour and independence as a learner and as a scientist.