Fall 2006     Daniel Finley
  Lecture: TTh 12:30 - 1:45 PM , PandA 184  
  (P451-057) Problem Session: Tues.: 7 - 8 PM , PandA 184  

Maxwell (1831-1879)

Introduction to the Class

This is the second semester of an introduction to electromagnetism,
including especially the description, reception, and creation of electromagnetic radiation.

The phenomena involved are best described by Maxwell's equations,
a set of 8 equations relating 2 vector fields, and , and their sources and .

The goal of the course is to understand how these relationships interact with each other,
especially in the description of electromagnetic radiation
and also their behavior when the sources are moving.

For the current version of the class syllabus , please go to this webpage.
It will be added to from time to time, as noted there, so please look at it regularly.

Office: Physics & Astronomy Bldg., 800 Yale Boulevard, Room 168
Telephone:     277-8799 ;     email:
Office Hours:
I urge you to take advantage of talking with me individually about the material. It is usually very helpful!
The class has a Teaching Assistant, Jaroslav Urbar,
who will also be available for discussions and/or questions during his office hour in the lobby on Thursday from 11 a.m. until noon.
If desired you may send him email by clicking here, suggesting an alternate time and place for you to meet.
Text:     Introduction to Electrodynamics,    David J. Griffiths;
    We will cover large portions of Chapters 8-12 [See the syllabus for more details].
However, it is important that you begin to learn how to read from more than one source.
 Therefore I have appended a website that lists several other good sources of material concerning electromagnetism.
The first several in the list are on reserve loan in the department office, and may be checked out for 2-hour periods or overnight. There will be assigned readings in them from time to time.

There will be
  • three examinations: the first two will be held beginning the scheduled time for the class problem session, Tues.: 7-8:30 pm.
    while the third will be on Thurs., 7 Dec., from 7-9 pm.
  • homework assignments due most class periods,
  • and some bonus "projects" available as well, which can help one's final grade.
    a new web page has now been posted, that describes these bonus projects in detail.

The problem sessions [Tues., 7-8 pm] are very important, to improve your "feel" for what is being discussed in the regular lectures. Small groups will regularly work through problems related to recent lectures and/or homework problems. After the sessions, a list of those problems will be provided at this link.
An approximate solution to problem of the movement of an initially-Gaussian electromagnetic wavepacket moving through a dispersive medium is here.

  • Assigned Homework will be very important in your process of learning the material being discussed. Therefore, it will count 25% of your final course grade. As well each of the three exams will constitute 25%, for a total of 100%.
    [However, you may also acquire "bonus points" via some (optional) projects, as the semester progresses!]

    Direct links are here to go to the listings of homework assignments:

    1. homework sets I,   preparing for the First Exam;
    2. homework sets II,   preparing for the Second Exam;
    3. homework sets III,   preparing for the Third Exam.
    Links to the homework solutions are provided on the homework assignment pages.

    Pioneers in Radio Waves (Photos)

    H.R. Hertz (1857-1894)   M.G. Marconi(1874-1937)   O. Heaviside(1850-1925)

    Links to Exciting Physics News

    Updated as I find time.