Physics 435
General Information

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This course presents a systematic development of electrodynamics, including Maxwell's equations, electrostatics and magnetostatics, boundary value problems, fields in matter, and electromagnetic waves (moved from P436).
The second semester (P436) covers electromagnetic waves, potentials and gauge invariance, and relativistic electrodynamics.

Prerequisite: MATH 285; credit or concurrent enrollment in PHYS 325.
Note: Math 241 (vector calculus) is much more important in E&M than in mechanics.

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.

When and where:

Lecture:   MWF   9:00 - 9:50 am    124 Burrill Hall (not Loomis)
Discussion:   Monday   4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 PM (50 minutes)    136 Loomis



Supplementary reading: Other books: (on reserve in the Grainger library)

Format and grades:


Lectures:    Jon Thaler
Web My home page
Homework: Tianhe Li (even sets)   Chang-Tse Hsieh (odd sets)
Discussion: Sean Vig   Tianci Zhou
Office hours:
  Monday 10-11 AM  427 Loomis   Jon
   11-12 AM  437 Loomis   Tianhe
   2-3 PM  437 Loomis   Sean
  Friday 10-11 AM  427 Loomis   Jon
   3:30-4:30 PM  322 Loomis   Chang-Tse
   4:30-5:30 PM  322 Loomis   Tianci

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