6.013 | Spring 2009 | Undergraduate

Electromagnetics and Applications


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Tutorials: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session


18.01, 18.02, or equivalent; 8.01, 8.02, or equivalent; and 6.002 and 6.00. More specifically they include complex numbers, vector operators, simple matrix operations, basic calculus, RLC circuits, Maxwell’s equations, and Fourier transforms.


Students will:

1. Understand the big ideas of electromagnetics, including:

  • Static and dynamic electromagnetic (EM) fields, energy, and power
  • EM fields and waves within and at the boundaries of media
  • EM radiation and propagation in space and within transmission lines
  • Circuit behavior of simple EM devices and transmission lines
  • EM forces on charges, currents, and materials; mechanically produced fields
  • Photon behavior

2. Relate the big ideas of EM to economically important applications, including:

  • Wireless and wired communications systems
  • Electronic circuits and systems, analog and digital
  • Actuators (motors) and sensors (generators)
  • Optical and acoustic devices and systems

3. Exercise mathematical skills, including:

  • Vectors and phasors
  • Partial differential equations


In support of these objectives, students will understand and calculate EM fields and key physical parameters for:

  1. Fields and energies in simple planar, cylindrical, and spherical geometries
  2. Fields within conducting, anisotropic, and plasma media
  3. Resistors, capacitors, inductors, transformers, transmission lines, and resonators
  4. Electric and magnetic forces on charges, wires, and media
  5. Electric and magnetic motors and sensor/generators
  6. Sinusoids and transients on TEM lines with mismatched impedances and tuning
  7. EM fields at planar boundaries and within waveguides, including evanescence
  8. Wireless and wired systems for communicating at R bits/second
  9. Wire, aperture, and array antennas for transmission and reception
  10. Simple photonic and acoustic devices

In most cases students will derive these results from Maxwell’s equations and the Lorentz force law, and will demonstrate their achieved outcomes in homework problems and, on a random sampling basis, examinations.


Complete course notes are available in the Readings section.

The following text can be used as a resource:

Staelin, David, Ann Morgenthaler, and Jin Au Kong. Electromagnetic Waves. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1994. ISBN: 9780132258715.


There will be two in-class quizzes.


Issued in lecture; usually due Wednesday of the following week in recitation; graded homework is returned at tutorials. Late homework grades will be reduced 30 percent until 4:00 PM Friday after the due date and 50 percent thereafter.


There are two types of tutorials: regular tutorials where small groups meet one hour per week to discuss homework and work examples, and larger group open interactive tutorials that permit students to obtain TA assistance while working independently on homework. Either or both types may be attended. Participation for at least one hour per week is important and is included in the homework grade.


The term grade G is approximately the sum Q1+Q2+2F+H where Q1+Q2 is the total quiz grade, F is the final exam grade, and H is the homework and tutorial grade; each is normalized to 100. Class participation is noted.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2009
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets with Solutions
Demonstration Videos
Exams with Solutions
Lecture Notes
Online Textbook