# Einstein and the Special Theory of Relativity

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**DIWALI2017**- Description

**About The Book :**

Special Theory of Relativity is considered as one of the major revolutions of the twentieth century, the second one being the ‘quantum theory’. Roger Penrose wrote: ‘Albert Einstein had such extraordinary deep perceptions of the workings of Nature that he laid foundation stones for both of these twentieth century revolutions in the single year of 1905.’ Since Einstein is considered as one of the supreme intellects of all time, in Chapter 1 I have given his brief life sketch. In the following chapters, I have tried to explain (in an easy-to-understand manner) the basic physics and the fascinating consequences of the Special Theory of Relativity.

**Review of the first edition of the book**

‘Many may have the nation that relativity is difficult to understand, but not in Professor Ghatak’s hand. The Special Theory Relativity by Professor Ajoy Ghatak has been a delightful book in paperback. Here relativity is fun, fascinating and enjoyable to students, teachers and anyone interested to know what special theory of relativity is. In this book, the author presents the special theory of relativity (STR) to young physicists in a lucid and exciting manner. He touches on history, relativistic kinematics, relativistic dynamics and relativistic electrodynamics briefly and in a novel approach. The book is presented with lots of examples, illustrations and problems at the end of each chapter … The author presents time dilation in a simple fashion where the constancy of the velocity of light in different frames is presented in a subtle fashion….In the following chapter the author treats the mass-energy relationship in a simple way using Doppler shifts of two emitted photons from a moving source. This approach avoids the cumbersome relativistic collision dynamics and shows how the mass of a moving body changes with its velocity.’

Professor B.K. Chatterjee and Professor S.C. Roy in Science & Culture (July 2009)

**Contents:**

Chapter 1: Albert Einstein: A Brief Life Sketch and his Numerous Contribution

Chapter 2: Time Dilation and Length Contraction : Introduction

• Speed of light for a moving source

• Time dilation • The Mu-meson experiment

• The length contraction • Understanding the Mu-meson experiment via length contraction

• Length contraction of a moving train

• Simaltaneity of two events

• The twin paradox

• The Michelson morley experiment

• Brief historical remarks

• Problems

• Reference

Chapter 3: The Mass-Energy Relation : Introduction

• The mass-energy relation

• The Doppler shift

• Problems

• References

Chapter 4: Lorentz Tranformations : Introduction

• The lorentz transformations

• Transformation laws for the components of the momentum vector

• Addition of velocities

• Problems

• Appendix A : Equations describing galilean tranformation

• Appendix B: Invariance of the wave equation under lorentz transformation

• Appendix C: Relativistic expression for kinetic energy

**About the Author:**

Professor Ajoy Ghatak obtained his M.Sc. from Delhi University and Ph.D. from Cornell University. His areas of research are Fiber Optics and Quantum Mechanics. He has several books in these ares includingIntroduction to Fiber Optics (co-auathored with Professor K. Thyagarajan) and Quantum Mechanics (co-authored with Professor S. Lokanathan). His undergraduate text on Optics has been translated to Chinese and Persian. Professor Ghatak is a recipient of several awards including the 2008 SPIE Educator award in recognition of ‘his unparalleled global contributions to the field of fiber optics research, and his tireless dedication to optics education worldwide and throughout the developing world in particular’ and the 2003 Optical Society of America Esther Hoffman Beller award in recognition of his ‘outstanding contributions to optical science and engineering education’. He is also a recipient of the CSIR S.S. Bhatnagar award, 16th Khwarizmi International award and the International Commission for Optics Galileo Galilei award and the Meghnad Saha Award (instituted by the UGC) for outstanding research contributions in theoretical sciences. He received D.Sc. (Honoris Causa) from the University of Burdwan in 2007.

Target audience: Class 12 science school students, UG physics students, academics of physics and any person having interest in physics.