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Paul Abbott
Organization: University of Western Australia
Department: Physics
Education level


The second year undergraduate physics course consists of 13 lectures. The combination of vector calculus and wave physics can often be difficult when first encountered. A good way to gain confidence is to apply them in problems. Mathematica is used as the vehicle for the course notes and assignments and is used both as a calculation and visualization tool.

Recommended reading:
  • Introduction to Electrodynamics by Griffiths
  • Electromagnetism: Principles and Applications by Lorrain and Corson
  • Volume 2 of The Feynman Lectures on Physics

This course provides both an introduction to Electromagnetism and to Mathematica. A large proportion of the students taking this course use Mathematica to complete the assignments.

These lecture notes are based on notes by Dr Tom R. Marsh of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton. Introduction:
  • Aims
  • Structure
  • References
  • Assessment
  • Notes
  • Conventions
Gradients and potentials:
  • Introduction
  • The gradient
  • Summary
Gauss' Law, Gauss' Theorem and divergence:
  • Introduction
  • Coulomb's to Gauss' Law Applying Gauss' Law
  • Calculating the divergence
  • Poisson's equation, Laplace's equation, and Gauss' Theorem
  • Summary
Faraday's Law, Stokes' Theorem and curl:
  • Introduction
  • Faraday's Law of Induction
  • Curl and Stokes' Theorem
  • Differential version of Faraday's Law
  • Calculating the curl
  • General remarks on grad, div and curl
  • Summary
Magnetic fields:
  • Magnetic fields
  • Introduction
  • The Biot-Savart Law
  • Amperes Circuital Law
  • Summary
Electromagnetic Waves:
  • Introduction
  • The displacement current
  • Summary of Maxwell's Equations
  • General properties of waves
  • Wave equation from Maxwell's Equations
  • Relations between fields and the wave vector
  • Summary
  • Vector field identities
Appendices Appendix A: Differential Operators
  • Definitions
  • Examples
Appendix B: Dirac's Delta Function
  • Examples
  • Definition
  • Sequence
  • Three Dimensions

*Science > Physics > Electromagnetism