2 Physics course
of Credit (UOC): 6
every year, Session 2
for Session 2, 2013
Previous lecture notes by Clemens Ulrich 2012
Electrostatic field, electric potential;
work and energy in electrostatics
in matter; polarization, displacement, dielectrics
Current electricity; electric current, current density, continuity equation, Drude's model of a conductor, Ohm's Law, Kirchhoff's Laws
magnetic fields, Lorentz force law, Biot-Savart law, Ampère’s
Magnetostatic fields in matter; diamagnetism, paramagnetism,
The course assumes familiarity with first year physics,
e.g. PHYS1221 or PHYS1231 or PHYS1241 and second year mathematics MATH2011 or MATH2111.
Brush up at Physclips
Electromagnetism is important from both fundamental and
applied viewpoints. This course aims to provide students
with an introduction to the principles and behaviour of
electric and magnetic systems. The course begins by considering
the electric effects of static electric charge distributions.
Then, we consider magnetic effects (i.e. what happens when
you allow the electric charges to move). Finally, we combine
both the electric and magnetic behaviours into a unified
topic Electromagnetism and introduce Maxwell’s four
equations which provide an elegant summary of this subject.
We will also see that there are two, equivalent mathematical
descriptions of Electromagnetism i.e differential and integral.
introduction to the mathematical methods of vector analysis
(div, grad and curl) used to describe electromagnetic
quantities such as field and potential.
The effects of static electric charge distributions. Electric
fields. Gauss’ law.
The response of real materials to applied electric fields;
dielectrics. Electric polarization and displacement. The
fundamental electric vectors E, D and P.
The magnetic fields due to electric currents. Calculation
of magnetic fields, Biot-Savart and Ampère laws.
The response of real materials to magnetic fields; types
of magnetism of real materials, diamagnets, paramagnets,
ferromagnets. The fundamental magnetic vectors B, H and
Induced EMF due to changing magnetic flux; Faraday and
will gain an appreciation of how the topics of Electricity
and Magnetism are related and unified.
Students will be introduced to Maxwell’s equations
which encompass the work of Gauss, Ampère and Faraday.
the student will gain an appreciation of why Maxwell’s
equations are often referred to as the crowning glory
of 19th century science.
is Electromagnetism important?
Electromagnetism underpins the operation of much of today’s
technology (e.g. radio, TV, computers, data storage, radar,
microwave ovens, motors, MRI, …). From a fundamental
perspective, it is one of the four ‘types’ of
force found in nature and Maxwell’s ‘discovery’
that light is an electromagnetic wave ranks as one of the
greatest breakthroughs in science. Furthermore, Einstein
was led to his formulation of the theory of relativity by
the in-depth study of Maxwell’s work. To quote J.R.
Pierce, “To anyone who is motivated by anything beyond
the most narrowly practical, it is worthwhile to understand
Maxwell’s equations simply for the good of his soul”.
course is strongly recommended as groundwork for a number
of 3rd year courses such as PHYS3011 Quantum Mechanics and Electrodynamics.
to succeed - Strategies for Learning
students find this subject confusing and, in many cases,
this is due to the use of vector analytical techniques involving
div, grad and curl. It is important that you gain some familiarity
with these techniques of differential calculus by doing
Like most subjects, the key to success is hard work. A number
of tutorial sheets covering the entire course will be available
on the Web. The student should work through these problems
bit by bit, (alone or with a group), to keep pace with the
lectures. In this way the student can get the practice and
experience necessary to understand the physical phenomena
and mathematical techniques presented here. Solutions to
specific problems will be discussed during lectures, as
material discussed in lectures will follow the textbook
closely and it is very useful, as in any course, for the
student to prepare a concise summary of the material presented
in lectures. Don’t just memorise all the equations
(a formula sheet will be attached to the exam paper) - concentrate
on the physics.
hour written examination 60%
Two assignments 10% each
Mid session test 20%
rules regarding academic honesty, etc, see the School website here.
J. Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics, 3rd edition
(Prentice Hall). (You might find copies of the 2nd edition
available; this is also a suitable textbook for this course).
is always a good idea to consult more than one book when
studying a course as you may find a book whose particular
style is more suited to yours than the prescribed textbook.
You will also benefit from studying different approaches
to the course material and related problems; here is a
short list of books which might be useful:
Lorrain and D.R. Corson, Electromagnetic fields and waves.
J.D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics (Wiley).
H.M. Schey, Div, Grad, Curl and all that (Norton) –
E.M. Purcell, Electricity and Magnetism (McGraw-Hill)
B. and B.I. Bleaney, Electricity and Magnetism (Oxford)
– an old classic.
on student support services may be found on the School here.
vectors and their products. Div, Grad and Curl. Line,
surface and volume integrals. Gradient, Divergence and
Stokes’ theorems. Curvilinear coordinates, Dirac
delta function, vector fields.
law. Electric field (E). Charge distributions, Gauss’
law. Div and Curl of E. Electric potential. Poisson’s
equation. Energy stored in a charge distribution. Conductors.
(P), dipoles, bound charge density. Electric displacement
(D). Electric susceptibility and permittivity. Boundary
conditions. Dielectric materials in an E field.
|Electric current, current density, continuity equation, Drude's model of a conductor, Ohm's Law, Kirchhoff's Laws
||7.1.1 and 8.1.1
force law. The magnetic field (H) and magnetic induction
(B). Biot-Savart law. Ampère’s law. Div
and Curl of B. Maxwell’s equations for static
fields. Magnetic vector potential.
torque and force. Hall effect. Magnetic dipoles and
Magnetization (M). Bound currents. Magnetic field of
a magnetized object. Magnetic materials (diamagnetism,
paramagnetism, ferromagnetism, hysteresis, domains, superconductors).
|EMF. Faraday’s law. Lenz’s
law. Mutual Inductance, Self Inducatance.
law revised. Maxwell’s equations inside matter.
Electromagnetic waves and the Poynting vector.
last updated 29 July 2013