Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 4 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Course Description

This course runs parallel to 8.02, but assumes that students have some knowledge of vector calculus. The class introduces Maxwell's equations, in both differential and integral form, along with electrostatic and magnetic vector potential, and the properties of dielectrics and magnetic materials. The class also touches on special relativity and the properties of electromagnetic waves.


Physics I (8.01), Multivariable Calculus (18.02)


Main Text

Buy at Amazon Griffiths, David J. Introduction to Electrodynamics. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998. ISBN: 9780138053260.

Reference Texts

Buy at Amazon Purcell, Edward M. "Electricity and Magnetism." In Berkeley Physics Course. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1984. ISBN: 9780070049086.

Buy at Amazon Feynman, Richard P., Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands. The Feynman Lectures on Physics. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 2005. ISBN: 9780805390452.

Grading Policy

Problem sets 25%
Exam 1 15%
Exam 2 15%
Exam 3 15%
Final exam 25%
Class participation 5%




Week 1

Introduction, electric field

1 Intro: Electrostatics  
2 Electrostatics problem solving  

Week 2

Mathematical background

3 Vector review  
4 Divergence, gradient, curl  
5 Integral calculus, Dirac delta function  
6 Dirac delta function, curvilinear coordinates  

Week 3

Gauss's law and electric potential

7 More curvilinear coordinates: Div and grad in spherical coordinates; Gauss's law  
8 Applications of Gauss's law: Field lines, point charge, Gaussian surfaces Problem set 1 due
9 Applications of Gauss's law: Line charge, plane charge  
10 Electric potential; Poisson's equation; Laplace's equation  

Week 4

Work and energy in electrostatics; conductors and capacitors

11 Electrostatic boundary conditions; conductors  
12 Capacitors, dielectrics, work Problem set 2 due
13 Capacitors, work, first and second uniqueness theorems  

Week 5

The method of images and multipole expansion

14 Method of images  
15 Parallel plate capacitor, electric dipole Problem set 3 due
16 Separation of variables  

Week 6

Exam 1

17 Review for exam 1  
18 Exam 1  

Week 7

Magnetostatics and special relativity

19 Dielectrics  
20 Magnetostatics, electric currents  
21 Special relativity Problem set 4 due
22 Special relativity (cont.)  

Week 8

Magnetic fields

23 Electric fields and force  
24 Magnetic fields; Lorenz force law  
25 Cycloidal motion; Biot-Savart law Problem set 5 due
26 Biot-Savart law (cont.); Ampere's law Problem set 6 due

Week 9

Magnetic fields; Maxwell's laws; magnetic properties of materials

27 Maxwell's equations  
28 Induction  
29 Magnetic boundary conditions; magnetic dipole  
30 Magnetization; magnetic properties of materials  

Week 10

Exam 2; magnetized materials

31 Review for exam 2  
32 Exam 2  
33 Ampere's law in magnetized materials  
34 Bound current; ferromagnetism  

Week 11


35 Circuits  
36 Circuits; undriven RC circuits; Thevenin's theorem  
37 Thevenin's theorem (cont.); Ohm's law; Faraday's law; Lenz's law Problem set 7 due
38 Alternating current circuits  

Week 12

Circuits (cont.)

39 Inductance  
40 Undriven RLC circuits  
41 Driven RLC circuits; Ladder impedance Problem set 8 due

Week 13

Maxwell; momentum

42 Maxwell's equations  
43 Poynting vector; Maxwell stress tensor  
44 Conservation of momentum; Minkowski force  
45 Review for exam 3  

Week 14

Electromagnetic waves

46 Exam 3  
47 Electromagnetic waves  
48 Electromagnetic waves (cont.)  
49 Topics for next week; relativity  

Week 15

Advanced topics in relativity; quantum

50 Faraday tensor; Maxwell; General relativity  
51 Quantum Problem set 9 due
52 Schrodinger equation