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A First Course on Symmetry, Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

The Foundations of Physics

  • Gabor Kunstatter
  • Saurya Das
Textbook

Part of the Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics book series (ULNP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxix
  2. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 1-7
  3. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 9-21
  4. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 23-44
  5. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 45-67
  6. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 69-99
  7. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 101-137
  8. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 139-162
  9. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 163-196
  10. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 197-212
  11. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 213-252
  12. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 253-283
  13. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 285-302
  14. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 303-354
  15. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 355-357
  16. Gabor Kunstatter, Saurya Das
    Pages 359-383
  17. Back Matter
    Pages 385-390

About this book

Introduction

This book provides an in-depth and accessible description of special relativity and quantum mechanics which together form the foundation of 21st century physics. A novel aspect  is that symmetry is given its rightful prominence as an integral part of this foundation. The book offers not only a conceptual understanding of symmetry, but also the mathematical tools necessary for quantitative analysis. As such, it provides a valuable precursor to more focused, advanced books on special relativity or quantum mechanics.

Students are introduced to several topics not typically covered until much later in their education.These include space-time diagrams, the action principle, a proof of Noether's theorem, Lorentz vectors and tensors, symmetry breaking and general relativity. The book also provides extensive descriptions on topics of current general interest such as gravitational waves, cosmology, Bell's theorem, entanglement and quantum computing.

Throughout the text, every opportunity is taken to emphasize the intimate connection between physics, symmetry and mathematics.The style remains light despite the rigorous and intensive content. 

The book is intended as a stand-alone or supplementary physics text for a one or two semester course for students who have completed an introductory calculus course and a first-year physics course that includes Newtonian mechanics and some electrostatics. Basic knowledge of linear algebra is useful but not essential, as all requisite mathematical background is provided either in the body of the text or in the Appendices. Interspersed through the text are well over a hundred worked examples and unsolved exercises for the student.


Keywords

Noether's theorem Mathematical uncertainty principle Quantum Information and Quantum Computation Parity violation Symmetry and group theory Lorentz transformations Relativistic energy and momentum Spontaneous symmetry breaking

Authors and affiliations

  • Gabor Kunstatter
    • 1
  • Saurya Das
    • 2
  1. 1.University of WinnipegWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.University of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

Bibliographic information