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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Electromagnetism (PHYS09060)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a two-semester course, the first covering time-independent and time-dependent properties of electric and magnetic fields leading to the vector calculus formulation of Maxwell's Equations and the derivation of electro-magnetic waves in vacuo and in media. The second semester covers the electromagnetic properties of waves including propagation, polarisation, interference and diffraction with example from radio wave, optics and x-ray diffraction.
Course description Electromagnetism (20 lectures)
- Integral and differential forms of Gauss's Law. Examples of 1D, 2D, 3D charge distributions.
- Potential. Poisson's Equation. Calculation of electric fields.
- Uniqueness theorem. Solution of electrostatic problems. Method of images.
- Dipole field. Quadrupole field. Multipole expansion.
- Electrostatic boundaries. Polarisation in dielectrics. Surface charges.
- Biot-Savart Law. Magnetic vector potential. Calculation of magnetic fields.
- Integral and differential forms of Ampere's Law. Examples of 1D, 2D current distributions.
- Magnetostatic boundaries. Magnetisation. Surface currents.
- Time-varying fields. Faraday's Law. Induction.
- Calculation of self and mutual inductance.
- Displacement current. Maxwell's equations and their solution in vacuo.
- Introduction to Electromagnetic waves.
- Solution of Maxwell's equations in dielectrics.
- Continuity theorem. Conservation laws.
- Poynting vector. Energy storage & transport by waves.

Electromagnetic Waves & Optics (20 lectures)
- Reflection & transmission of waves at boundaries.
- Polarisation states. Polarisers. Malus's Law. Measurement of polarisation.
- Derivation of Fresnel Equations. Brewster's angle.
- Interference. Double slits. Newton's rings. Michelson/Twyman-Green interferometers.
- Multi-beam interference. Fabry-Perot. Anti-reflection coatings. Dielectric stacks.
- Single slit diffraction. Diffraction grating. Applications in spectroscopy. X-ray diffraction.
- Diffraction from circular aperture. Resolution limit. Aberrations.
- Dispersion of Electromagnetic waves. Ionosphere.
- Waves in conductors. Absorption. Skin depth.
- Waveguides & Cavities.
- Coherence. Lasers.
- Basic Fourier optics. Optical transfer function. Concept of spatial frequency.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Dynamics and Vector Calculus (PHYS08043) AND Physics of Fields and Matter (PHYS08046)
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Electromagnetism and Relativity (PHYS10093)
Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 44, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44, Summative Assessment Hours 8, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 99 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 20%
Examination 80%
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. State the integral laws of electromagnetism and state and derive Maxwell's equations.
  2. Formulate and solve with vector calculus problems of static and time-varying electrical and magnetic field including utilisation of the electric scalar potential and the magnetic vector potential.
  3. Derive and apply the concepts of: Maxwell's displacement current; the continuity equation; self- and mutual inductance; Poynting's vector; energy flux; radiation pressure.
  4. Define and explain: polarisation and magnetisation; the fields D, H, E and B; the relation between E, B and the force on a particle; polarisation charges and magnetisation currents; boundary conditions on fields at interfaces between media; Maxwell's equations in media.
  5. Derive and explain electromagnetic radiation using plane-wave solutions of Maxwell's equations; apply these to problems of intrinsic impedance, attenuation, dispersion, reflection, transmission, evanescence, and the skin effect in conductors; derive and explain total internal reflection, polarisation by reflection.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Jamie Cole
Tel: (0131 6)50 5999
Course secretaryMrs Jo Thorpe
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