PHYS 436 :: Physics Illinois :: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Welcome to Physics 436!

We will meet on Monday August 26 at 9 am in LLP 144.  I'm looking forward to meeting all of you there.  It is very important for you to come to all of the lectures since this is a fast paced and difficult course.  We will use iClickers to interactively discuss the physics presented.  Please register your iClicker for this course using the link in the gradebook.

Here's what we're going to do:

We will begin with some lectures reviewing electrostatics and magnetostatics and quickly get on to EM radiation.  We will consider how light propagates in vacuum and dielectrics.  We will cover reflection and refraction from dielectric interfaces which requires us to match boundary conditions for D, E, B and H.  We will also describe how light reflects from conducting surfaces. Following this we will explore the energy, momentum and angular momentum contained in EM radiation.  Following this, we will study how light propagates inside conducting tubes (waveguides) and also study the resonant behavior of EM cavities.  Up to this point we will have worked directly with the electric and magnetic fields themselves.  To study radiation and other physics, we will develop a potential formalism with a more complicfated relationship between the sources, fields, and the scalar and vector potentials than we saw in time independent problems.  In particular, the gauge choice that simplifies the equations for the potential functions is known as the Lorentz gauge.  The resulting theory provides a convenient way to describe all types of radiation processes in which light is generated.  We will discuss various sources of radiation and describe how frequency mixing occurs in dielectric media when the fields are large and the response exhibits nonlinear components.  This is non-linear optics.  We will wrap up the course with a complete description of special relativity which we will see is made necessary by the results developed so far.  This will include relativistic mechanics, space-time kinematics and a completely relativisitic description of Maxwell's Equations in terms of 4-vectors and 4-tensors.  We will also cover relativistic radiation.

Discussion sections begin on Tuesday August 27.  Please attend the section you signed up for.

Homework will be assigned on Mondays and your solutions are due a week later by 5 pm in the 436 HW box.

We are trying to get office hours scheduled for Thursday afternoons, probably 1-5 pm.  As of now (8/20) that's still up in the air.


Regarding Homework

Homework is to be turned into the 436 homework box on the second floor of Loomis by the time and date listed on the assignment. Homeworks will not be accepted via email.  Homework turned in late will recieve a reduced score.  The maximum score is reduced to 90% if it is turned in late.  Homework more than 1 week late will receive zero credit.  If you hand your homework in late it is your responsibility to get it delivered in person to one of the course graders.  I am going to try to get the homework assignments returned to you during the next week's discussion section. If you have an official excuse (McKinley) up to 2 assignments can be excused. Please submit your excuse documentation within 10 business days via the Excused Absences application.

Academic Integrity

All activities in this course, including documentation submitted for petition for an excused absence, are subject to the Academic Integrity rules as described in Article 1, Part 4, Academic Integrity, of the Student Code.