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Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Offered by||Department of Physics & Astronomy|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
To cover theoretical aspects of electromagnetic fields and radiation.
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
- use scalar and vector potentials and explain the concept of gauge invariance;
- demonstrate the compatibility of electrodynamics and special relativity;
- use Lorentz covariant formalism (scarlars, 4-vectors and tenors) in the context of electrodynamics and special relativity;
- solve Poisson's equation and the inhomogenous wave equation;
- distinguish between radiation fields and other electromagnetic fields;
- calculate the radiated power produced by accelerating charges.
1. Electromagnetic Field Equations (7 lectures)
Maxwell's equations and wave solutions. Definition of scalar and vector potentials. Electro- and magnetostatics and Poisson’s equation; multipole expansions. Electrodynamics in Lorentz Gauge; the inhomogeneous wave equation and the retarded time.
2. Electromagnetism and Relativity (7 lectures)
Covariant and contravariant formalism of Lorentz transformations; Scalars, four vectors and tensors; relativistic dynamics. Consistency of Maxwell's equations and relativity. Electromagnetic field tensor and electrodynamics in covariant form.
3. Accelerating Charges (6 lectures)
Lienard-Wiechert potentials; Power radiated from an arbitrarily moving charge. Larmor’s power formula; synchrotron radiation; bremsstrahlung.
4. Harmonically Varying Sources (2 lectures)
Multipole radiation: electric (Hertzian) and magnetic dipole radiation; slow-down of pulsars. Rayleigh and Thomson scattering.
Feedback will be offered by examples class tutors based on examples sheets, and model answers will be issued. A few optional sessions will provide extra problem solving opportunities and cover a few interesting “extra-curricular” topics.
Heald, M.A. & Marion, J.B. Classical Electromagnetic Radiation, (Academic Press,
Griffiths, D.J., Introduction to Electrodynamics (Benjamin Cummings; 3rd edition (December 30, 1998)
Jackson, J.D., Classical Electrodynamics, (John Wiley & Sons, 3rd edition 1999)
Schwartz, M., Principles of Electrodynamics, (Dover Publications, 1972)
Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol II (Addison Wesley, 1964)
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||1.5|
|Independent study hours|
|Terence Wyatt||Unit coordinator|