PHYS543         Electricity and Magnetism             Autumn 2011

Instructor: Vladi Chaloupka, Professor of Physics
                  room B309, 206-543-8965
                  office hours: before and after class, and by appointment;

Teaching Assistant: TBA

Text: Griffiths: Introduction to Electrodynamics (3rd ed.). We will just skim chapters 4 and 6 (polarization and magnetization), and only cover selected topics from chapters 8-11 (see Tentative Schedule, below).

Optional Reading: Ohanian: Classical Electrodynamics. Hard to find. "Derives" (as we do) Maxwell equations from Electrostatics and Relativity. Excellent bibliography.

Jackson: Classical Electrodynamics. Classical text for graduate E&M.

Landau/Lifshitz: Electrodynamics from the "Course in Theoretical Physics", or the first volume of the "Shorter Course" (Pergamon Press 1972 - very hard to find but worth trying!). E&M from The Master.

Brau: Modern Problems in Classical Electrodynamics (Oxford Univ. Press 2004). A somewhat strange title notwithstanding, this is a complete text, and modern indeed, with many state-of-the-art applications. The level aims at a "modern Jackson/Landau-Lifshitz". After PHYS543, you should be ready for this book.

Feynman: Lectures on Physics. If you stay involved with Physics, you will never stop reading and re-reading these books!

Schaum's Outlines: an excellent resource for people needing a refresher of some basics. There is a good volume on Electromagnetics. The volume on Complex Variables is excellent - it covers much more than we need in PHYS543 (but the extra stuff is truly great, and will be needed should you take my "Introduction to Acoustics and Digital Signal Processing" next Winter (PHYS 536).

Super-optional reading: Arthur Koestler: The Sleepwalkers. Fascinating account of the history of our understanding of the solar system (and of many other things.) I recommend this book to every class I teach.

Douglas Hofstadter: Goedel Escher Bach. Masterful treatment of mathematical logic, paradoxical drawings and counterpoint music. This book, too, is recommended to every class I teach.

V. Chaloupka: Two Letters from Vlad the Astrophysicist (see link on the website ( ).

Grading: The better one out of two 1-hour midterms = 20% of the grade. Comprehensive, 2-hour Final = 80% of the grade. Exams are closed-book, with one sheet (both sides) of handwritten notes allowed. There will be no make-up exams.

Homework: is an ESSENTIAL part of the course. It is carefully selected, and all exams will be closely based on it, so mastering all homework problems (and attempting ALL problems BEFORE solutions are distributed) will be a necessary as well as a sufficient condition for success in the course.

HW Set 1 Part I: Chapter 1 Problems 4, 5, 12, 13, 20, 22 (use of Levi-Civita removes the need for masochism), 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33

PHYS543       Course Schedule       Autumn 2011

Sept.28          Introduction
----------       Review of Math. Tools                text Ch. 1
         3                                                         + handout (on complex numbers, Kronecker, Levi Civita, and Dirac delta function)
       10           Electrostatics                                Ch. 2,3
       19           HW Set 1 solutions available
       26           Relativity -> Maxwell equations                 Ch. 12 and 10 (selections) + handout   

       31          HW Set 2 solutions available             Review
Nov. 2
         7          Exam 1 (first hour; covering Chapters 1-3)     2nd  hour:    start Magnetostatics          Ch. 5
        16            HW Set 3 solutions available
        21            E&M in matter; Electrodynamics,
        23            Radiation and Waves                 Ch. 4,6,7,8,9,11 (selections)
        28            HW Set 4 solutions available
 Dec. 5   Exam 2 (covering chapters 4-12)
         7              more Relativity, Action Principle, some Quantum, .....Grand Finale !