Classical Electromagnetic Theory I


Professor Thomas Curtright
PHY752, Section G
17 January - 27 April 2018
MWF 2:30-3:20 room 203
Grade = HW + Midterm  + Final

Maxwell's equations and the Lorentz force:  Electrostatics, continuous media, magnetostatics, quasi-static phenomena, resonant cavities, wave guides.  More or less ...

Upon successful completion of this course, and the sequel PHY753, students should be able to critically analyze and solve --- in many cases exactly but otherwise as a sequence of controlled approximations --- problems involving classical electricity and magnetism, and they should be able to exchange ideas and discuss thoughtfully any topic involving this subject with their peers and other professional colleagues.

Home Work is due as assigned in class.
Midterm Exam, either in-class, 2:30-3:20 pm, Wednesday, 9 March, or take-home (to be decided).
Final Exam,
either in-class, 2:00-4:30 pm, Friday, 4 May, or take-home (to be decided).

Required text:  John David Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics, Third Edition (Wiley, 1999) [Jackson errata]. 

Of course, you may also buy other texts, if you have the means, and you are encouraged to read other books if you have the time.  In my opinion, Jackson is a great reference.  It is a classic treatise on the subject.  But I think it is not the best textbook for students.  In any case, we hope to cover material taken mostly from the first half of Jackson.  We will go through a systematic discussion of relativistic effects, and formalism, in Electromagnetic Theory II.

Graded homework problems:
These will be due about one week after being assigned in lecture.


Reading assignments:  Ideally, you should try to do all the exercises in the assigned Jackson chapters!  But I will only collect for grading those homework problems listed above.

Assignment #1:  Read the Introduction in Jackson.  For a better appreciation of gauge transformations, read this.
Assignment #2:  Read Jackson, Chapter 1.  Also read J. D. Jackson, American Journal of Physics 68 (2000) 789-799, and 70 (2002) 409-410, and paper XCII, pp 672-680 in The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell, Vol. II, W. D. Niven, editor, Cambridge University Press (1890).
Assignment #3:  Read Jackson, Chapters 2 & 3.  For some history about Green functions, read this introductory chapter from Duffy.
Assignment #4:  Read Jackson Chapter 4.  Also see Journal of Mathematical Physics  28 (1987) 978-980.
Assignment #5:  Read Jackson Chapter 5, and American Journal of Physics 19 (1951) 87-90; 22 (1954) 586-596; 78 (2010) 1117-1119.
Assignment #6:  The surface charge on current carrying wires is discussed in American Journal of Physics 9 (1941) 225-226 and 49 (1981) 450-451.
Assignment #7:  Read Jackson Chapter 6.

Other reading material:
    Some other textbooks.
    Some notes on various topics.
    A bit of history is here: Green, Maxwell, and Riemann

The content of the course is given, in summary, by the Lorentz force law
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and Maxwell's equations:
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An exact expression for the Coulomb constant is: MATH