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This course presents a systematic development of electrodynamics, including Maxwell's equations, electrostsics and magnetostatics, boundary value problems, and fields in matter. The second semester (P436) covers electromagnetic waves, potentials and gauge invariance, and relativistic electrodynamics.
Here is the catalog description (slightly incorrect):
Static electric and magnetic fields, their interactions with electric charge and current, and their transformation properties; the effect of special relativity is incorporated. Macroscopic fields in material media are described.
Note: Math 241 (vector calculus) is much more important in E&M than in mechanics.
Prerequisite: MATH 285; credit or concurrent enrollment in PHYS 325.
Here is the big picture overview of the course topics, and what I hope that you'll learn. For more week-by-week detail, see the course syllabus.
Two major goals:
Don't be frightened by the phrase “field theory”. You are learning it now! Field theory includes phenomena that are more easily described by continuous distributions (“fields”) than by discrete particles. These include fluid mechanics (P326) and electromagnetism (P435-6). I hope to make the concepts sufficiently clear that the when you get to quantum mechanics, you'll be able to focus on the quantum aspects.
- To understand the concepts and methods of electromagnetism in detail, building on P212.
- To learn how E&M fits into the larger physics framework, expecially special relativity,
field theory, and quantum mechanics.
When and where:
||9:00 - 9:50 am
||4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 PM (50 minutes)
- Introduction to Electrodynamics (3rd Ed.), Griffiths (1998).
Other books: (on reserve in the Grainger library)
- The Feynman Lectures on Physics (volume II), Feynman, Leighton, Sands (1970, 2005).
Some like this book; some don't. (true of most texts)
- Classical Electrodynamics (3rd Ed.), Jackson
The standard graduate level text.
- Classical Electricity and Magnetism, Panofsky and Phillips
Somewhat advanced, but more accessible than Jackson.
- Electricity and Magnetism, Nayfeh and Brussel
Has been the text in the past, I think.
- Electricity and Magnetism, Purcell
The Berkeley "honors" text. Has good insights.
- Books that I know less about (I list the authors only)
Pollack, Reitz, Marion, Lorrain, Schwartz.
Format and grades:
- Lecture: (no grade)
Lectures serve primarily to guide your studies. I'll do some examples and discuss concepts.
I'd like it to be interactive - we'll see how it goes.
- Discussion: (10% of your grade)
You'll work in small groups (as in 21x ) on problems that
illustrate conceptual issues and calculational techniques. You might be able to get an "A"
without ever attending discussion, but you'd be living dangerously.
- Homework: (35%)
Homework is important! One learns by doing.
Weekly homework assignments willl be due (in the homework box) on Friday at
5 PM. You will receive half credit if it is turned in by 5 PM the following Monday. Homework
will not be accepted after that without an official (e.g., McKinley) excuse.
- Midtem exams: (30%)
Two in-class exams (15% each). Exams are open notes (not open book).
- Final exam: (25%)
Tuesday, May 8, 8-11 AM. Exams are open notes (not open book).
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