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BSc Physics with Theoretical Physics

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Electricity & Magnetism

Unit code PHYS10342
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Physics & Astronomy
Available as a free choice unit? No


Electricity and Magnetism


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Mathematics 1 PHYS10071 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


To develop a basic understanding of electric and magnetic fields in free space using the integral forms of Maxwell’s laws.

Learning outcomes

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

On completion successful students will be able to:

  1. describe the electric field and potential, and related concepts, for stationary charges.
  2. calculate electrostatic properties of simple charge distributions using Coulomb’s law, Gauss’s law and electric potential.
  3. describe the magnetic field for steady currents and moving charges.
  4. calculate magnetic properties of simple current distributions using Biot-Savart and Ampere’s laws.
  5. describe electromagnetic induction and related concepts, and make calculations using Faraday and Lenz’s laws.
  6. describe the basic physical content of Maxwell’s laws in integral form.


1.  Introduction

 Forces in nature; electric charge and its properties; vectors, fields, flux and circulation.


2.  Electric Fields and Stationary Charges

 Coulomb’s law and superposition; electric field and potential; capacitance; electric dipoles; energy in electric fields.


3.  Magnetic Fields and Steady Currents

 Magnetic fields; Lorentz force; Biot-Savart and Ampère’s laws; magnetic dipoles.


4.  Electrodynamics

 Electromotive force; electromagnetic induction; Faraday and Lenz’s laws; inductance; energy in magnetic fields.


5.  Maxwell’s Equations

 Maxwell’s fix of Ampère’s law; Maxwell’s equations in integral form.


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Written exam 90%

Feedback methods

Feedback will be given by tutors on students’ written solutions to examples sheets and model answers will be issued.

Recommended reading

Grant, I.S. & Phillips, W.R. Elements of Physics (OUP)

Halliday, Resnick, Walker, Fundamentals of Physics (Wiley)

Tipler, P.A., Physics for Scientists and Engineers (Freeman)

Young, H.D. & Freedman, R.A. University Physics (Addison-Wesley)


Supplementary and Further Reading: (See comments in lectures)

Dobbs, E.R. Basic Electromagnetism (Chapman-Hall)

Duffin, W.J. Electricity and Magnetism (McGraw-Hill)

Feynman, Lectures in Physics Volume 11

Grant, I.S. & Phillips, W.R. Electromagnetism (Wiley)

Griffiths, D.J. Introduction to Electrodynamics (Wiley)

Kip, A.F. Fundamentals of Electricity and Magnetism (McGraw Hill)

Schey, H.M. Div, Grad, Curl and All That (Norton)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 24
Practical classes & workshops 12
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 56.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Mark Hughes Unit coordinator

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