10 Great Links for Learning Special Relativity

| November 18, 2013 | 0 Comments

A previous article on free physics links for learning general relativity turned out to be quite popular, so I decided to find 10 free links for special relativity as well. Here are 10 links to various lecture notes, books and video lectures. Enjoy!

Einstein working at the patent office (1904)

1. Special Relativity by Leonard Susskind

Here we have another great course from Stanford University. It is delivered by Leonard Susskind, who also delivered some great lectures on general relativity and cosmology. The course has 10 lectures on the basics of SR and the applications.

2. Special Relativity (Cambridge University)

Here we have lectures notes on special relativity by G. W. Gibbons. The topics covered include Maxwell’s equations, spacetime, 4-vectors, rotating frames, Lorentz transformations, collisions, particle decays and causality.

3. Special Relativity Modules from Perimeter Institute

These 14 video lectures from the Perimeter Institute offer an easy-going introduction to the subject. The topics include Doppler effect, Minkowski space, Einstein postulates, clock synchronization, rotating disk thought experiment and others.

4. Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein

This is a book firstly published back in 1920 by Einstein himself. The main aim of the book is explaining SR & GR to everyday readers. As you might imagine, this means there’s not much math in there. Recommended for beginners.

5. College Physics

“College Physics” is a full textbook on the basics of physics for undergraduate students. It includes a nicely-illustrated chapter on SR. For more free textbooks visit the Openstax college website. Recommended for beginners.

6. The Special Theory of Relativity (Macquarie University)

Here we have another set of lecture notes on the basics of SR. The topics covered are Einstein postulates, Lorentz transformations, space-time diagrams and others.

7. Special Relativity 

Another set of lecture notes on SR by David W. Hogg. Once again covers the basics, however, a it’s a bit more technical than the previous entry.

8. Introduction to Relativity (Yale University)

This lecture is a part of the Fundamentals of Physics (PHYS 200) series. Professor Ramamurti Shankar gives an introduction of SR. The course has 3 lectures on SR, covering the basics, Lorentz transformations and four vectors.

9. Special Relativity (Leeds University)

This entry offers full lecture notes on SR, giving a more mathematical introduction of the topic. The topics covered include the basics of SR, vectors, 4-vectors and even some tensors.

10. Free Resources at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The last entry of the list points to a great free website for philosophy lovers. I believe that if one aims to fully understand any scientific subject, one has to know its philosophical implications. And, as you might imagine, SR and GR revolutionized physics and our philosophical understanding of science. To find out more about the different schools of thought, which aim to explain the peculiarities of SR, check out the great Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. This great website offers insights on almost any philosophical subject you might find interested. For more articles on SR, use the search function.

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