Physics 308

PHYS 308: Electricity and Magnetism

Prerequisites: MATH 172

Credit Hours: (3)

Study of electric and magnetic fields in free space and in materials, interactions of fields and charges, electromagnetic forces, Gauss’ and Faraday’s Law and the Maxwell Equations.

Detailed Description of Course

This class will concentrate on classical electric and magnetic fields and their applications to a number of real-world systems. Topics to be studied in this class include:

1) Electrostatics
        a. Electric charge and conservation of charge
        b. Electric forces and Coulomb’s Law
        c. Electric fields and Gauss’ Law
        d. Energy of the electric field
2) Electric potential
        a. Potential difference
        b. Gradient, curl and divergence
        c. Potential of charge distributions
        d. Laplace’s equation
        e. Stokes’ Theorem
3) Electric fields around conductors
        a. Conductors and insulators
        b. Capacitance and capacitors
        c. Boundary-value problems
        d. Energy stored in a capacitor
4) Electric currents
        a. Electric current and current density
        b. Conductivity and Ohm’s Law
        c. Conduction in metals and semiconductors
        d. Circuits and networks
        e. Variable currents in capacitors and resistors
5) Fields of moving charges
        a. Magnetic forces
        b. Fields in different frames of reference
        c. Lorentz Force on moving charges
        d. Fields from a moving point charge
6) Magnetic fields
        a. Fields from currents in various geometries
        b. Magnetic field and magnetic flux density
        c. Hall Effect
        d. Biot-Savart Law
7) Electromagnetic induction
        a. Lenz’ and Faraday’s Law
        b. Mutual induction
        c. Self-induction
        d. Energy stored in a magnetic field
8) Alternating current circuits
        a. Networks
        b. Resonance
        c. Impedance and reactance
        d. Power and energy in alternating current circuits
9) Electromagnetic waves
        a. The Maxwell Equations
        b. Wave equations
        c. Superposition of waves
        d. Energy and momentum transport
10) Electric fields in matter
        a. Dielectrics
        b. Field and potential of dipoles
        c. Torque on dipoles and the dipole moment
        d. Induced and permanent dipoles
        e. Polarization
11) Magnetic fields in matter
        a. Magnetic susceptibility and magnetization
        b. Electric currents, spin and magnetic moments
        c. Permanent magnets, free and bound currents

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The class format will be lecture/discussion. Part of the class time will be used for the development of the formal theory while the rest of the meeting time will be devoted to solving example problems. The majority of students’ time outside of the classroom will be spent working on problems. Some of the assigned problems may be computer-based.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

The following student abilities are expected to be developed or enhanced due to this course:

1) Students will be able to apply basic electromagnetic theory to a broad range of physical systems.
2) Students will be able to solve problems involving both static and dynamic systems of charges and fields.

Students will develop proficiency in the basic mathematical methods used in everyday physics, as well the vector calculus specific to electromagnetic theory.

Assessment Measures

Student comprehension of the material will be based on instructor feedback on assigned homework problems, in-class discussions and students’ presentation of their solutions, and periodic exams.

Other Course Information


Review and Approval

March 1, 2018