ELEC_ENG 411: Fundamentals and Applications of Special Relativity

Quarter Offered

Winter : TuTh 3:30-4:50 ; Shahriar


Familiarity with the Laws of Electromagnetism at the Level of ELEC_ENG 224


COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Selim Shahriar

REQUIRED TEXTS: None; Written lecture notes will be provided.


  1. Primary: “Special Relativity,” A.P. French, W.W. Norton, New York, London (MIT Introductory Physics Series); Available from
  2. Secondary: “Classical Electrodynamics,” J.D. Jackson, Third Edition, Wiley, New York.; Available from


  1. Experimental Foundation behind Special Relativity
  2. Lorentz Transformation of Coordinates
  3. Addition of Velocities
  4. Time Dilation and Lorentz Contraction; Proper Time.
  5. Forward Time Travel and Resolution of the Twin Paradox.
  6. Lorentz Transformation of Electric and Magnetic Fields.
  7. Second Order Doppler Effect.
  8. Origin of Magnetic Fields and Forces.
  9. Lorentz Invariant Representation of Maxwell’s Equations.
  10. Maxwell Stress-Energy Tensor and its Role in Electromagnetic Forces in Nanostructures
  11. Relativistic Dynamics of Charged Particles
  12. SR in accelerated frames
  13. Sagnac Effect; Fresnel Drag for Electromagnetic Waves in Moving Media.
  14. Relevance of SR to modern devices: Optical and Atomic Gyroscopes, Global Positioning Systems, Atomic Clocks, Free Electron Laser
  15. Electron Spin and Pauli Exclusion Principle