Phys 402, Electromagnetism I (Spring 2021)

Course info

  • Syllabus in PDF format
  • Class schedule: MWF 1400–1450, remotely via Google Meet
  • Office hours: TBD
  • Professor: Leo C. Stein (he/him; you can call me “Leo” or “Dr. Stein”)
  • Email:
  • Office: 205 Lewis Hall

Accessing lectures and homeworks will be through Google Classroom. If you are in this course and do not have access to the virtual classroom, email Leo ASAP!


  • Main text: Introduction to Electrodynamics, David Griffiths. We will be covering chapters 7-12.
  • The definitive reference, at a higher level, is Jackson’s Classical Electrodynamics.

Course goals and learning outcome

This is the second half of a standard course on electromagnetism in the undergraduate curriculum for physics.

Key concepts (time permitting): • going from electrostatics to electrodynamics • mutual and self inductance • Maxwell’s equations • conservation laws • waves in general and electromagnetic waves • energy and momentum in the electromagnetic field • reflection, transmission, absorption, and dispersion • waveguides • potential formulation and gauge transformations • special relativity and relativistic EM.

Goals: Reinforce understanding of electrostatics and magnetostatics; understanding of Maxwell’s equations and interactions with matter, and relevance to physical systems; learning tools of waves; applying multivariate and vector calculus and special mathematical tools (e.g.\ multipole/Legendre expansion); introduction to special relativity. These goals are to enhance students’ mathematical reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical reasoning.


  • Grade type: Letter grade A–F
  • Grade ranges: (subject to change)
    • A 88% and up
    • B 75–87%
    • C 65–74%
    • D 55–64%
    • F <55%
  • Grade breakdown: (subject to change)
    • 50% Homework
    • 20% Midterm
    • 30% Final

Homework, tests, and final exam

Homework assignments will be announced via the course web site, and they must be turned in by 5PM on the due date. Late homework will be penalized 20% per day (exceptions and extensions permitted with good cause). Homeworks and exams should be submitted as PDFs or JPGs via the course web site. Homework must be easy to read: please clearly write down your name and the problem set number, do not use a red pen. The midterm and final exam will be open-book and open-notes, and a calculator will be permitted.


There is no strict attendance requirement, but you are strongly advised to attend class. Attendance has a strong correlation with performance. I recommend that you read the book sections in advance and come ready to participate. If you miss an exam or cannot turn in homework, please inform me beforehand and get a doctor’s note if applicable. Absences from tests count as zeros, unless they are justified. If you must be absent during a test for a University sponsored event, you must discuss this with me before the test date.

Academic Integrity

Violations of the University’s policy of academic integrity will result in a failing grade and other disciplinary actions. A student with a documented case of plagiarism or cheating in this course will receive a failing grade for the course and may face disciplinary action by the University, including expulsion.

In particular, do not turn in problem set solutions copied from online or a solutions manual. Copying solutions does nothing to enhance your learning. If I see this then you will get an automatic 0 for the problem set. It if happens more than once I will report it to the chair of the department.

Disability Access and Inclusion

The University of Mississippi is committed to the creation of inclusive learning environments for all students. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your full inclusion and participation, or to accurate assessment of your achievement, please contact the course instructor as soon as possible. Barriers may include, but are not necessarily limited to, timed exams and in-class assignments, difficulty with the acquisition of lecture content, inaccessible web content, and the use of non-captioned or non-transcribed video and audio files. If you are approved through SDS, you must log in to your Rebel Access portal at to request approved accommodations. If you are NOT approved through SDS, you must contact Student Disability Services at 662-915-7128 so the office can: 1) determine your eligibility for accommodations, 2) disseminate to your instructors a Faculty Notification Letter, 3) facilitate the removal of barriers, and 4) ensure you have equal access to the same opportunities for success that are available to all students.


If a change in the syllabus becomes necessary during the semester, it will be discussed in class and then posted on the course website. The course website will also contain up-to-date information on the class schedule, homework assignments and complementary material.

Schedule (subject to change)

Day Month Date Topic
W Jan 20 6.1, Magnetization
F Jan 22 6.2, Field of magnetized obj
M Jan 25 6.3, field; 6.4, (non)linear media
W Jan 27 7.1, EMF
F Jan 29 7.1, EMF
M Feb 01 7.2, induction
W Feb 03 7.2, induction
F Feb 05 7.3, Maxwell’s Equations
M Feb 08 7.3, Maxwell’s Equations
W Feb 10 8.1, charge/energy conservation
F Feb 12 8.1, charge/energy conservation
M Feb 15 8.2, momentum cons.
W Feb 17 8.2, momentum cons.
F Feb 19 9.1, waves in 1d
M Feb 22 9.1, waves in 1d
W Feb 24 9.2, EM waves in vacuo
F Feb 26 9.2, EM waves in vacuo
M Mar 01 9.3, EM waves in media
W Mar 03 9.3, EM waves in media
F Mar 05 9.4, absorption and dispersion
M Mar 08 9.4, absorption and dispersion
W Mar 10 9.5, waveguides
F Mar 12 9.5, waveguides
M Mar 15 9.5, waveguides
W Mar 17 10.1, potential formulation
F Mar 19 10.1, potential formulation
M Mar 22 10.2, distributions
W Mar 24 10.2, distributions
F Mar 26 10.3, field of point charges
M Mar 29 10.3, field of point charges
W Mar 31 11.1, dipole radiation
F Apr 02 Holiday (Good Friday)
M Apr 05 11.1, dipole radiation
W Apr 07 11.2, rad’n from point charges
F Apr 09 11.2, rad’n from point charges
M Apr 12 12.1, special relativity
W Apr 14 12.1, special relativity
F Apr 16 12.2, SR mechanics
M Apr 19 12.2, SR mechanics
W Apr 21 12.3, EM in SR language
F Apr 23 12.3, EM in SR language
      Nov 18–24 Final exams