6.007 | Spring 2011 | Undergraduate

Electromagnetic Energy: From Motors to Lasers


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 4 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Tutorials: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session

Course Description

This course discusses applications of electromagnetic and equivalent quantum mechanical principles to classical and modern devices. It covers energy conversion and power flow in both macroscopic and quantum-scale electrical and electromechanical systems, including electric motors and generators, electric circuit elements, quantum tunneling structures and instruments. It studies photons as waves and particles and their interaction with matter in optoelectronic devices, including solar cells, displays, and lasers.


The formal prerequisites are 8.02 or 6.01. Students concurrently enrolled in 6.02 or 6.002 may find that 6.007 complements those courses.

Students were asked to answer the following questions at the beginning of the course:

  1. What electromagnetism experience do you have (8.02/8.022, research, etc.)?
  2. What quantum physics experience do you have (8.04/5.73, research, etc.)?
  3. Write down Maxwell’s Equations (differential or integral form).

Suggested Texts

French, Anthony, and Edwin Taylor. An Introduction to Quantum Physics. W. W. Norton, 1978. ISBN: 9780393091069.

Shen, Liang, and Jin Au Kong. Applied Electromagnetism. 3rd ed. CL Engineering, 1995. ISBN: 9780534947224.

Problem Sets

Problem sets will be graded on a scale of 0 to 100 points. You should submit your own work. Problem sets are an important part of your learning experience, and you are strongly encouraged to put time into them.

Problem sets will be posted most Wednesdays and are due at the beginning of lecture on the following Wednesday.


We have reserved 3 hours for each lab, although each lab should take no more than 2 hours. Labs will be completed in groups of 3 assigned by the course staff.

Some labs require pre-lab exercises which you have to complete prior to attending the lab. During the lab you will be asked to record measurements, observations, and graphs of data taken during the in-lab exercises. Additional post-lab exercises and write-ups must be turned in for grading on the Friday following the lab. The labs will be scored on the scale of 0 to 10.


The exams are closed book, although you may bring an equation sheet. Calculators are neither needed nor allowed.


Your final grade will be determined by a weighted average as follows:

5 labs 10%
10 problem sets 20%
2 midterms 40%
Final exam 30%

An additional 5% can be earned by completing the extra credit lab.

Failure to attempt all five labs will lower your final grade by one letter. We will drop your lowest problem set grade (only the top nine will count).


We fully recognize the potential value of students working or studying together, and we do not have any objection to this kind of cooperation, so long as all participants are involved in all aspects of the work, not with each doing only a fraction of the assignment. In particular, when you hand in a paper with your name on it, we assume that you are certifying that the details presented are entirely your own work and that you played a substantial role at the conception stage.

Learning Resource Types
Demonstration Videos
Problem Sets
Lecture Notes