PHYC 406: Electricity and Magnetism II


Prof. Alejandro Manjavacas
Office: P&A 21

Teaching assistant
Evgeni Zlatanov


Description of the class

This class corresponds to the second part of a two-semester sequence of classes intended to cover the standard topics of classical electrodynamics in a mathematically sophisticated and conceptually rigorous manner. This second part will be centered on the description of time dependent electromagnetic fields and their interactions with charges and currents.


Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30-13:45, P&A Room 184.


Textbook for the class
Introduction to Electrodynamics (4th Edition) by D. Griffiths. The course will cover Chapters 7-12.

Additional resources
Berkley Physics Course on "Electricity and Magnetism" by E. Purcell and D. Morin.
Lectures on physics - vol II by R. P Feynman.
Foundations of Electromagnetic Theory by J. R. Reitz, F. J. Mildford and R. W. Christy.

Office hours

Tuesdays and Thursdays 13:45-14:45, and Wednesdays 15:50-17:00 in Room 21. These are nominal office hours, you are welcome to come into my office at other times too if your questions cannot wait, although I would appreciate if you could send an email announcing your visit. Sometimes, this drop-in approach may not work if I am very busy or your question requires more than just a few minutes, but in that case I will ask you to come back at a later time.

Teaching assistant
The teaching assistant is Evgeni Zlatanov. He will be available on Wednesdays from 14:00 to 15:00 in the lobby of P&A for you to discuss any homework grading issues you may have (please send Evgeni an email to arrange an appoinment).


The grading in the course will be based on your performance in homework assignments, two midterm exams, and a final exam. The maximum grade will be 100 points, with the following distribution:

  1. Homework: the best (n-1) scores of the n assignments will represent 20 points of the final grade.
  2. Midterm exams: each of them will represent 25 points of the final grade.
  3. Final exam: will represent the remaining 30 points of the final grade.

The MT exams are tentatively scheduled for September 25 and November 8, during (extended) class time, and the final exam will be held on December 13.

In addition, the students will have the opportunity to obtain up to 10 extra points by writting a two-page report describing an everyday phenomenon that can be explained using the concepts learned during the course. More details will be provided in class.

Homework assignments

There will be 9 assignments during the semester each with 4-6 problems apiece. The assignments will be given throughout the semester and will be posted in the tentative schedule about 7-10 before they are due. Late homework policy: homework returned in the next 24 hours after the due date will be accepted but with 50% penalization. After 24 hours of the due date the corresponding solutions will be posted here.

Problems class

Listed officially as Phyc 416.001 (Wednesdays: 15:00 - 15.50 pm, Room 184).  This is a very important adjunct to the main lecture class. It will provide you additional practice with solving problems beyond the homework assignments and self study. We will also cover some examples of numerical approaches to solve problems in electrodynamics. Furthermore, the class will also give you a valuable opportunity to bring to my attention your difficulties with any concepts covered in the lecture class so I can address them in a group setting. The problem sheets would be posted here the Friday before the problem class. The corresponding solutions will be posted after the class. You will receive credit for the problems class as long as you register and show up for more than 10 sessions.

Syllabus topics

You can find the calendar for the course in the tentative schedule.

  1. Electrodynamics
  2. Conservation laws
  3. Electromagnetic waves
  4. Potentials and fields
  5. Radiation
  6. Relativistic electrodynamics

Tentative schedule

Topic Date Subject Griffiths Reading Homework HW Due Solutions

08/21 (Tu) No class

08/23 (Th) No class

Review of electrostatics 08/28 (Tu) Review of electrostatics Ch 1-6  HW1  09/04 (Tu) HW1_sol
Electrodynamics 08/30 (Th) Electromotive force - Faraday's law Ch 7

09/04 (Tu)
Ch 7  HW2  09/13 (Th)

09/06 (Th) Maxwell's equations
Ch 7

09/07 (F) at 4.30 pm
Boundary conditions Ch 7

 Conservation laws 09/11 (Tu) Conservation laws I Ch 8

09/13 (Th) Conservation laws II Ch 8
09/25 (Tu)

09/14 (F)
at 4.30 pm
Forces on charges and currents Ch 8

09/18 (Tu) Angular momentum Ch 8
Electromagnetic waves 09/20 (Th) Electromagnetic waves I Ch 9

  09/25 (Tu) Midterm exam I

10/09 (Tu)

09/27 (Th) Solution Midterm exam I

10/02 (Tu) Electromagnetic waves II Ch 9

10/04 (Th) Electromagnetic waves III Ch 9
  10/09 (Tu) Electromagnetic waves in matter Ch 9
HW5 10/23 (Tu)

10/11 (Th) Fall break - No class 

10/16 (Tu) Reflection and transmission I
Reflection and transmission II
Ch 9

10/18 (Th) Material properties Ch 9

  10/23 (Tu) Material properties II Ch 9

  10/25 (Th)
Waveguides I Ch 9
11/01 (Th)

10/30 (Tu) Waveguides II Ch 9

 Potentials and fields 11/01 (Th) Electromagnetic fields of elementary sources I Ch 10

11/06 (Tu)
Electromagnetic fields of elementary sources II Ch 10

  11/08 (Th) Midterm exam II
HW7 11/15 (Th)

11/13 (Tu) Solution to Midterm II

11/15 (Th) Electromagnetic fields of elementary sources III Ch 10 HW8
11/29 (Th)

11/20 (Tu) Electromagnetic fields of elementary sources IV
Ch 10

11/22 (Th) Thanksgiving - No class

Radiation 11/27 (Tu) Electromagnetic field due to a moving charge
(java app we used in class)
Ch 11

11/29 (Th) Radiation from simple sources Ch 11 HW9
12/06 (Th)

12/04 (Tu) Radiation from simple sources II Ch 11

12/06 (Th) Radiation from a collection of sources Ch 11

Final exam

Problems class

Date Problems Solutions
08/22 (W) No class
08/29 (W) PC1
09/05 (W)
09/12 (W) PC3
09/19 (W) PC4
09/26 (W) PC5
10/03 (W) PC6
10/10 (W) PC7
10/17 (W) PC8
10/24 (W) PC9
10/31 (W) PC10
11/07 (W) PC11
11/14 (W) PC12
11/21 (W) PC13
11/28 (W) PC14
12/05 (W) Project presentations

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In accordance with University Policy 2310 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), academic accommodations may be made for any student who notifies the instructor of the need for an accommodation. It is imperative that you take the initiative to bring such needs to the instructor’s attention, as I am not legally permitted to inquire. Students who may require assistance in emergency evacuations should contact the instructor as to the most appropriate procedures to follow. Contact Accessibility Resource Center at 277-3506 for additional information.

If you need an accommodation based on how course requirement interact with the impact of a disability, you should contact me to arrange an appointment as soon as possible. At the appointment we can discuss the course format and requirements, anticipate the need for adjustments and explore potential accommodations. I rely on the Disability Services Office for assistance in developing strategies and verifying accommodation needs. If you have not previously contacted them I encourage you to do so.