PHYC 406: Electricity and Magnetism II


Prof. Alejandro Manjavacas
Office: PAIS: 2232

Teaching assistant
Lucas Webster

Office: PAIS 2233-A

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, 11:00-12:15, PAIS 1140.


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 13:15-15:30, and Thursdays 16.20-17.30 in PAIS 2232. 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 Lucas Webster will be available on Wednesdays from 13.00 to 15.00 in PAIS 2233-A for you to discuss any homework grading issues you may have (please send an email to arrange an appointment).


The grading in the course will be based on your performance in homework assignments, two midterm exams, a final exam, and a two-page report describing an everyday phenomenon that can be explained using the concepts learned during the course (the report is due on December 5 at the beginning of the class, please send me your titles before). 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 20 points of the final grade.
  3. Final exam: will represent 25 points of the final grade.
  4. Report: 15 points.

The MT exams are tentatively scheduled for September 24 and November 7, during (extended) class time, and the final exam will be held on December 9 (9.00).

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 (Thursdays: 15:30 - 16.20 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 10 sessions or more.

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

Material from EM I (PHYC 405)

Problems Classes

Tentative schedule

Topic Date Subject Griffiths Reading Homework HW Due Solutions
Review of electrostatics 08/20 (Tu) Review of electrostatics Ch 1-6 HW1
Electrodynamics 08/22 (Th) Electromotive force - Faraday's law Ch 7

08/27 (Tu)
Ch 7

08/29 (Th) Maxwell's equations Ch 7 HW2

09/03 (Tu) Boundary conditions Ch 7

 Conservation laws 09/05 (Th) Conservation laws I Ch 8

09/10 (Tu) Conservation laws II Ch 8

09/12 (Th) Forces on charges and currents Ch 8

09/17 (Tu) Angular momentum Ch 8
Electromagnetic waves 09/19 (Th) Electromagnetic waves I Ch 9

  09/24 (Tu) Midterm exam I

09/26 (Th) Solution Midterm exam I

10/01 (Tu) Electromagnetic waves II Ch 9

10/03 (Th) Electromagnetic waves III Ch 9
  10/08 (Tu) Electromagnetic waves in matter Ch 9

10/10 (Th) Fall break - No class 

10/15 (Tu) Reflection and transmission I
Reflection and transmission II
Ch 9

10/17 (Th) Material properties Ch 9

  10/22 (Tu) Material properties II Ch 9

  10/24 (Th)
Waveguides I Ch 9

10/29 (Tu) Waveguides II
Ch 9

10/29 (Tu) Electromagnetic fields of elementary sources I
Notice this class is at: 4.00 pm - 5.15 pm
Ch 10

 Potentials and fields 10/31 (Th) No class

11/05 (Tu)
Electromagnetic fields of elementary sources II Ch 10

  11/07 (Th) Electromagnetic fields of elementary sources III Ch 10 HW7

11/12 (Tu) Electromagnetic fields of elementary sources IV
Ch 10

11/14 (Th) Midterm exam II

11/19 (Tu) Solution to Midterm II

11/21 (Th) Electromagnetic field due to a moving charge
(java app we used in class)
Ch 10

Radiation 11/26 (Tu) No class 

11/28 (Th) Thanksgiving - No class

12/03 (Tu)
Radiation from simple sources Ch 11 HW9

12/05 (Tu) Radiation from simple sources II Ch 11

12/05 (Th)
Radiation from a collection of sources
(mathematica app)
Ch 11

Problems class

Date Problems Solutions
08/22 (Th) PC1
08/29 (Th) PC2 PC2_sol
09/05 (Th)
PC3 PC3_sol
09/12 (Th) PC4 PC4_sol
09/19 (Th) PC5 PC5_sol
09/26 (Th) PC6 PC6_sol
10/03 (Th) PC7 PC7_sol
10/10 (Th) Fall break - No class

10/17 (Th) PC8 PC8_sol
10/24 (Th) PC9 PC9_sol
10/31 (Th) PC10 PC10_sol
11/07 (Th) PC11 PC11_sol
11/14 (Th) PC12 PC12_sol
11/21 (Th) PC13 PC13_sol
11/28 (Th) Thanksgiving - No class
12/05 (Th) PC14

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Microsoft Word - Sample Syllabus.