Relativistic Kinematics and Collisions

Part of the Graduate Texts in Physics book series (GTP)


Particles move at speeds that might easily approach the speed of light, and therefore classical mechanics is not sufficient to model their motion in space. Relativistic kinematics is needed to correctly account for, amongst many quantities, the time and length intervals, the momentum, and the energy of the particles. This chapter presents the basic equations needed to understand and perform simple calculations of relativistic kinematics. Additionally, collisions, which underpin radiation-matter interactions, are introduced in the context of special relativity. The invariant mass is discussed as a particle discovery tool, and the chapter ends with the calculation of Compton scattering and the formal definition of cross section.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Physics and AstronomyQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK

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