Physics 230

Electricity and Magnetism

Spring Term, 2002


Lecture: 9:50 - 11:00 MWF, Youngchild 115

Professor: Matthew R. Stoneking

Office: Youngchild 110

Phone: X6724

email: stonekim

Office Hours: Tuesdays 1:30 PM-3:00 PM or by appointment


Catalog course description: Develops and explores Maxwell's equations: charge and current densities, particle motions, electrostatics, magnetostatics, induction, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, responses of matter. Prerequisites: Physics 150 and Mathematics 210. Offered every year.



††††††††† Introduction to Electrodynamics, Third Edition, by David. J. Griffiths, Prentice-Hall (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 1989).This is truly one of the best-written undergraduate physics texts around.Read it. Enjoy it.


Other E&M Texts:

The Theory of the Electromagnetic Field, by David M. Cook, Prentice-Hall (1975). A fine introductory E&M text written by a fine member of the Lawrence faculty.Out of print.


††††††††† Electricity and Magnetism, by E.M. Purcell, McGraw-Hill (1985). This is the 2nd volume in the Berkeley Physics Course series.It is a commonly used introductory E&M text.


††††††††† Electromagnetic Fields and Waves, by Lorrain, Corson, and Lorrain, W. H. Freeman and Company (1988). This text is an intermediate undergraduate text.


††††††††† Classical Electrodynamics, by J. D. Jackson, John Wiley and Sons (1962).This is the standard graduate level E&M text.It is a classic, but treats the subject from a rather mathematical/abstract perspective.


††††††††† The Feynman Lectures on Physics, volume II, by Feynman, Leighton, and Sands, Addison-Wesley (1964).The Feynman lectures are required reading for all serious physicists.

Grading policy:

Grades will be determined from the following components, weighted as indicated:

Midterm Exam I††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 20%

Midterm Exam II†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 20%

Final Exam††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 30%

Problem Sets†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 20%

Class Presentation, Attendance, Participation††††††††† 10%


††††††††† There will be two closed book, one hour midterm exams, and a comprehensive three hour final exam.

††††††††† Midterm Exam I is tentatively scheduled for Friday 26 April.

††††††††† Midterm Exam II is tentatively scheduled for Monday 20 May.

††††††††† The Final Exam is Wednesday 12 June at 1:30 PM.


Problem sets:

††††††††† Problem sets will be assigned on a (roughly) weekly basis.Note the weighting of the problem sets toward the final grade.This reflects the importance attached to completing problem assignments.You are expected and encouraged to work together on the problem sets, but must write up your own solutions.


Presentations, Attendance and Participation:

††††††††† This component of your grade reflects the importance of actively participating in the class.Attendance will not be taken explicitly, but you are expected to ask questions in class, respond to my questions, and show evidence of having read the textbook.Each student will also have the opportunity to present one or two problem solutions to the rest of the class some time during the term.


Outline of the Course:

I: Electrostatics

        Chapter 2: Electrostatics

        Chapter 3: Special Techniques

        Chapter 4: Electric Fields in Matter

II: Magnetostatics

        Chapter 5: Magnetostatics

        Chapter 6: Magnetic Fields in Matter

III. Electrodynamics

        Chapter 7: Electrodynamics

        Chapter 9: Electromagnetic Waves

Course Schedule


Unit I: Electrostatics

Week 1

Day 1†††††††††††††††††† Monday 1 April

        Overview of the course

        The Laws of Electrostatics

Coulombís Law

The Principle of Superposition

        The electric field

        Continuous charge distributions


Day 2†††††††††††††††††† Wednesday 3 April

Read Griffiths 2.1.1-2.2.1 (pp. 58-69). [and from chapter 1, Griffiths 1.1 (pp. 1-12)]

        Electric field lines

        Gauss' Law (integral form)


Day 3 †††††††† Friday 5 April

Read Griffiths 2.2.2-2.2.3 (pp. 69-74) [and from chapter 1, Griffiths 1.2.1 1.2.4,1.3.1-1.3.4 (pp. 13-18, 24-33), especially the divergence and the divergence theorem]

        Applications of Gaussí Law

        The divergence theorem

        Gaussí Law (differential form)


Week 2

Day 4 †††††††† Monday 8 April

Read Griffiths 2.2.4-2.3.4 (pp. 76-86)[and from chapter 1, Griffiths 1.2.5-1.2.7, 1.3.5-1.3.6 (pp. 19-24, 34-38)]

        Electric potential

        Stokesí theorem and the curl of E

        Poissonís equation

        Laplaceís equation



Day 5 †††††††† Wednesday 10 April

Read Griffiths 2.3.5-2.5.4 (pp. 87-106) [and from chapter 1, Griffiths 1.4.1-1.4.2 (pp. 38-44)]


        Electrostatic boundary conditions


        Electrostatic energy


Day 6 †††††††† Friday 12 April

Problem presentation day


Week 3

Day 7 †††††††† Monday 15 April

Read Griffiths 3.1.1-3.1.6, 3.3.1 (pp. 110-121, 127-136)

        Properties of solutions to Laplaceís equation

        Uniqueness theorems

        Separation of variables (Cartesian coordinates)


Day 8 †††††††† Wednesday 17 April

Read Griffiths 3.3.2 (pp. 137-144)

        Separation of variables (spherical coordinates)

        Example: Conducting sphere in uniform E field


Day 9†††††††††††††††††† Friday 19 April

Read Griffiths 3.4 (pp. 146-155)

        Electric dipole moment

        Electric multipole expansion


Week 4

Day 10 †††††† Monday 22 April

Read Griffiths 4.1 (pp. 160-166) [and from chapter 1, Griffiths 1.5 (pp. 45-51)]

        Numerical solutions to Laplaceís equation


Day 11 †††††† Wednesday 24 April

Read Griffiths 4.2.1-4.4.1 (pp. 166-184)


        Bound charges

        Electric displacement

        Linear dielectrics

        electric susceptibility/dielectric permittivity/dielectric constant


Day 12 †††††† Friday 26 April†††† HOUR EXAM I


Week 5

Day 13 †††††† Monday 29 April

Read Griffiths 4.4.2-4.4.3 (pp. 186-193)

        Examples of problems with dielectrics



Unit II: Magnetostatics


Day 14 †††††† Wednesday 1 May

Read Griffiths 5.1-5.2 (pp. 202-219)

        The laws of magnetostatics

        Oerstedís observation

        Lorentz force

        Magnetic field

        Biot-Savart law

        Definition of the Ampere


Day 15 †††††† Friday 3 May

Read Griffiths 5.3.1-5.3.2 (pp. 221-224)

        Current density and the continuity equation

        Magnetic field lines

        Ampereís Law

        Divergence of B

Week 6

Day 16 †††††† Monday 6 May

Read Griffiths 5.3.3-5.3.4 (pp. 225-233)

        Applications of Ampereís law


Day 17 †††††† Wednesday 8 May

Read Griffiths 5.4 (pp. 234-246)[and from chapter 1, Griffiths 1.6 (pp. 52-54)]

        Magnetic vector potential

        Multipole expansion

        Magnetic dipole moment

        A little bit of quantum mechanics


No class on Friday 10 May: Midterm Reading Period

Week 7

Day 18 †††††† Monday 13 May

Catch-up / get-ahead / problem presentation day


Day 19 †††††† Wednesday 15 May

Read Griffiths 6.1-6.4 (pp. 255-282)


        Paramagnetism, diamagnetism, ferromagnetism

        Bound currents

        The auxiliary field


Unit III: Electrodynamics



Day 20 †††††† Friday 17 May

Read Griffiths 7.1 (pp. 285-299)

        Example of a problem with magnetization

        Ohmís law, resistivity and resistance

        Joule heating

        Electromotive force

Week 8

Day 21 †††††† Monday 20 May†† HOUR EXAM II


Day 22 †††††† Wednesday 22 May

Read Griffiths 7.2.1-7.2.2 (pp. 301-309)

        Motional emf

        Faradayís law

        Applications of Faradayís law


Day 23 †††††† Friday 24 May

Read Griffiths 7.2.3-7.2.4 (pp. 310-320)


        Magnetic energy

Week 9

No class on Monday 27 May: Memorial Day


Day 24††††††† Wednesday 29 May

Read Griffiths 7.3 (pp. 321-333)

        Displacement current

        Maxwellís equations


Day 25 †††††† Friday 31 May

Read Griffiths 9.1.1-9.2.2 (pp. 364-380)

        The wave equation

        Electromagnetic waves in vacuum


Week 10

Day 26††††††† Monday 3 June

Read Griffiths 9.3.1 (pp. 382-384)

        Electromagnetic waves in dielectric media

        Index of refraction



Day 27 †††††† Wednesday 5 June

Catch-up / get-ahead / problem presentation day


Day 28 †††††† Friday 7 June

Review for Final Exam


Final Exam: Wednesday 12 June 1:30 PM


Some of the information contained in this syllabus can also be found at