The course on Mechanics and Relativity constitutes an extension of the Mechanics learned during the first year in the Physics I course. In the first place, new ways of formulating and solving problems in Classical Mechanics, alternative to the Newton¿s laws studied during the first year, will be presented: the Analytical Mechanics. Its fundamentals, advantages and disadvantages will be presented. Particular attention will be paid to the method based on the Lagrange¿s equations. Applications will be also presented to the study of the motion of the rigid body in space for which an essential tool, the Inertia Tensor, will be introduced. A generalized analysis of the small oscillations about the equilibrium position of systems with several degrees of freedom will be also addressed. The last part of the course will be devoted to one of the main areas of Modern Physics, developed during the first half of the twentieth century: the Relativistic Mechanics. The two postulates on which it is based will be presented, together with some of their main consequences such as a new approach to the concepts of space and time, or the well-known mass-energy equivalence.
The following competences and skills should be acquired:
- Ability to know and understand what does it mean the Analytical Mechanics and some of the main tools developed within it to solve mechanical problems, particularly, among them, the Lagrange¿s equations.
- Ability to understand the general motion of a rigid body in space, based on the tool of the inertia tensor
- Ability to understand the application of the Lagrange¿s method to the generalized analysis of small oscillations in systems with several degrees of freedom, as well as the meaning of the normal modes and frequencies
- Ability to understand the meaning of the postulates of the special theory of relativity, and some of their main consequences: revision of the concepts of space and time, the mass-energy equivalence, etc
- Ability to understand and use the mathematics involved in the physical models
- Ability to develop skills to solve problems
- Ability to use scientific instruments and analyze experimental data
- Ability to verify in the laboratory some of the results obtained in the theoretical classes
- Ability to retrieve and analyse information from different sources
- Ability to work in a team.