Course Introduction by Prof. Markus Zahn

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Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 2 hours / session

Recitations: 1 session / week, 1.5 hours / session

Conferences: 1 session / week, 0.5 hours / session


This course focuses on laws, approximations and relations of continuum electromechanics. Topics include mechanical and electromechanical transfer relations, statics and dynamics of electromechanical systems having a static equilibrium, electromechanical flows, and field coupling with thermal and molecular diffusion. Also covered are electrokinetics, streaming interactions, application to materials processing, magnetohydrodynamic and electrohydrodynamic pumps and generators, ferrohydrodynamics, physiochemical systems, heat transfer, continuum feedback control, electron beam devices, and plasma dynamics.


Students should take 6.641 or obtain permission from the instructor before taking this course.



Buy at Amazon Melcher, James R. Continuum Electromechanics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1981. ISBN: 9780262131650.


Buy at Amazon Zahn, Markus. Electromagnetic Field Theory: A Problem Solving Approach. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing, Co., 2003. ISBN: 9781575242354.

The textbooks are available in Supplemental Resources under Continuum Electromechanics and Electromagnetic Field Theory: A Problem Solving Approach.


Midterm exam 35%
Final exam 40%
Homework 25%


Course Outline

A tentative outline, divided into nine main topics, is provided below. A more detailed summary of lectures is provided in the calendar section.

  1. Introduction and review of Maxwell's equations
  2. Solutions to Laplace's equation in Cartesian, cylindrical and spherical geometries
  3. Electric and magnetic field boundary value problems
  4. Electromagnetic forces and stress tensors
  5. Magnetic diffusion
  6. Laws, approximations and relations of fluid mechanics
  7. Pressure-velocity relations for inviscid and incompressible fluids
  8. Electrohydrodynamics, ferrohydrodynamics and magnetohydrodynamics
  9. Smoothly inhomogeneous systems and their internal modes