Special Relativity and Electrodynamics

Special Relativity and Electrodynamics (Spring 2008, 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. We will also encounter the work of the German mathematician Hermann Minkowski.

Lecture 1 - Inertial reference frames
The principle of relativity, Reference frames, Lorentz transformation, Length contraction and time dilation, Proper time.
Lecture 2 - Principle of least action
Relativistic particle mechanics, Four-vectors and four-velocity, Principle of least action, Lagrangian for a point particle, Relativistic momentum and energy.
Lecture 3 - Invariance of the laws of nature
Principle of covariance, Action principle, Summation convention, Contravariant/ covariant vectors, Tensors.
Lecture 4 - Lagrangian mechanics
Action integral, Kinetic and potential energy, Lagrangian, Symmetries and conservation laws, Canonical momentum, Conservation of momentum and translational symmetry, Conservation of energy.
Lecture 5 - Conservation of charge and momentum
Conservation of momentum and energy in field theory, Invariance and conservation of charge.
Lecture 6 - Relativistic wave equation and conservation laws
Lorentz transformation, Wave equation, Classical field theory, Complex wave function.
Lecture 7 - Invariance under gauge transformations
Complex field, Gauge transformation, Gauge covariant derivative, Symmetry and gauge transformations, Conservation of charge, Charged particle in a magnetic field.
Lecture 8 - Gauge theory
Gauge transformation, Gauge invariance, Conservation of charge, Lorentz force, Magnetic monopoles.

Special Relativity and Electrodynamics (Spring, 2008) | 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)