Special Relativity and Electrodynamics

Special Relativity and Electrodynamics (Spring 2012, Stanford Univ.). Instructor: Professor Leonard Susskind. In 1905, while only twenty-six years old, Albert Einstein published "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" and effectively extended classical laws of relativity to all laws of physics, even electrodynamics. In this course, we will take a close look at the special theory of relativity and also at classical field theory. Concepts addressed here will include space-time and four-dimensional space-time, electromagnetic fields and Maxwell's equations. He also covers the work of the German mathematician Hermann Minkowski.

Lecture 01 - The Lorentz transformation
The principle of relativity, Reference frames, Derivation of the Lorentz transformation, Speed of light is independent of reference frame, Length contraction and time dilation, Invariant intervals.
Lecture 02 - Adding velocities
Relativistic velocity addition, Double Lorentz transformations, Proper time, Light cones, Four-vectors, Four-velocity.
Lecture 03 - Relativistic laws of motion and E=mc²
Relativistic particle mechanics, Relativistic action and Lagrangian for the motion of a particle, Relativistic momentum and energy, Derivation of mass-energy equivalence: E = mc², Massless particles.
Lecture 04 - Classical field theory
Introduction to classical field theory, Action and Lagrangian for a field in four-space, Introducing relativity into the Lagrangian formulation for a field, Particle interacting with a simple scalar field.
Lecture 05 - Particles and fields
Non-relativistic limit for a particle in a field, Einstein & Minkowski notation, Wave equations for fields, Klein-Gordon equation, Higgs field, Higgs boson.
Lecture 06 - The Lorentz force law
Review of Einstein & Minkowski notation, Introduction to tensors and tensor notation, Derivation of the Lorentz force law, The fundamental principles of physical laws.
Lecture 07 - The fundamental principles of physical laws
Stationary action, Locality, Lorentz invariance, Gauge invariance, Review of the derivation of the Lorentz force law.
Lecture 08 - Maxwell's equations
Relativistic transformation of the electromagnetic field tensor, Maxwell's equations, Conservation of charge, Maxwell's equations in relativistic notation, Magnetic monopole.
Lecture 09 - Lagrangian for Maxwell's equations
Electromagnetic plane waves, Choosing a Lagrangian for electrodynamics and deriving Maxwell's equations, Adding charges and currents to the Lagrangian.
Lecture 10 - Connection between classical mechanics and field theory
Comparison of the three concepts of momentum, Connection between classical mechanics and field theory, Energy and momentum density, Stress-energy tensor.

Special Relativity and Electrodynamics (Spring, 2012) | The Theoretical Minimum
In this course, we will take a close look at the special theory of relativity and also at classical field theory.

The Theoretical Minimum Courses
Classical Mechanics (Fall 2007)
Classical Mechanics (Fall 2011)
Quantum Mechanics (Winter 2008)
Quantum Mechanics (Winter 2012)
Advanced Quantum Mechanics (Fall 2013)
Special Relativity (Spring 2008)
Special Relativity (Spring 2012)
Einstein's General Theory of Relativity (Fall 2008)
General Relativity (Fall 2012)
Cosmology (Winter 2009)
Cosmology (Winter 2013)
Statistical Mechanics (Spring 2009)
Statistical Mechanics (Spring 2013)
Particle Physics 1: Basic Concepts (Fall 2009)
Particle Physics 2: Standard Model (Spring 2010)
Particle Physics 3: Supersymmetry and Grand Unification (Spring 2010)
String Theory and M-Theory (Fall 2010)
Topics in String Theory (Cosmology and Black Holes) (Winter 2011)
Quantum Entanglements, Part 1 (Fall 2006)
Relativity (Spring 2007)