29::213 Classical Electrodynamics
Fall  Semester 2010

The main textbooks are Landau and Lifshitz, The Classical Theory of Fileds, 4th Revised English Edition (LL hereafter) and  J. D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics; 3rd Edition, Wiley (JDJ hereafter).  Also DG refers to David Griffiths's Introduction to Electrodynamics, 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall.

PS: Problem Set

Readings: LL Ch. 1

Optional: JDJ 11. 1-4; DG: 12.1

Problem set (due next Tuesday)
• JDJ 11: 3, 4 and 5 (6 will be assigned next week)
• A spaceship moving at a speed c/2 is firing a projectile toward another spaceship
moving in the same direction at a speed of 3c/4. The speed of the projectile in the
frame of the first spaceship (where the projectile is fired) is c/3. Will the projectile
reach the second spaceship a) according to Galilean relativity, b) according to Einstein
relativity ?
• Elaborate on the statement ds^2 = ads'^2 made in §2 of LL using the procedure described
hereafter. Consider a small line segment intersecting the light-cone in the
(cdt, dx) plane . Under a transformation that preserves the speed of light, this small
segment is sent into another small segment intersecting the light cone. Use a first-order
parametrization of ds^2 and ds'^2 along the two segments and show that the statement is

2 Readings: JDJ 11. 6-7

Problem set (due next Tuesday)
  • JDJ 11: 6, 10 and 11
  • Find the laws of transformation for an arbitrary rank 2 tensor with one contravariant and one covariant indices under a Lorentz transformation (6.1) in LL (boost along the x direction).
  • Derive explicitly Eqs. (11.99) in JDJ.
3 Readings: LL Ch. 2  up to § 11

Optional: JDJ 11. 5 and 12; DG: 12. 2

Problem set (not collected):  all problems in LL up to page 36.
4 Readings: LL Ch. 2  up to § 12 to 14

Optional: JDJ 11. 9 and 10; DG: 12. 3

Problem set (due next Tuesday)

JDJ 11:  19, 20, 21, 22 and 23
5 No classes on Monday 9/20; This class will be made up on Wenesday 9/22 1:30 in 309.

Readings: LL Ch. 3

Optional: JDJ Ch. 12

Problem set (due next Tuesday)
  • Work out explicitly all the details of problem 1 p. 33 of LL
  • Derive Eq. (11.149) in JDJ
  • JDJ problems 11.14 a) and b),  12. 3 and 12. 9 a)
6 Readings: LL Ch. 4

Optional: JDJ Ch. 6

Problem set (due next Tuesday)

JDJ problems: 12. 9 b), c) and d) and  6.1 a) and b)
7 Readings: Continuation of previous week; Please submit topics that you would like to have  reviewed in class by Wednesday 10/6. 
8 No class on Monday 11. It will be made up on 10/27.  Midterm: 10/13 and 10/15
9 Problem  set (due Wednesday 10/20). Check all "Vector Formulas" in Jackson (back of cover page); Derive velocity, acceleration and div-grad-curl in cylindrical and spherical coordinates. 
10 made up class on 10/27 at 1:30

Readings: LL Ch. 4 sections 31-35

Optional: JDJ 6.7 and 12.10

Problem set (due next Tuesday)

JDJ problems: 12.5, 12.14, 6.5 and 6.14 a)

11 Readings: LL Ch. 8  and JDJ 6.2-5, 6.9 and 12.11

Problem set (due next Thursday)

JDJ problems: 6.2 a) and  b), 6.11 and 6.14 b) and c). 
12 Readings: LL  5 and JDJ 6.11 and 6.12

Problem set (due next Thursday)

  • Provide 6 examples of graphical representations of the parametric solutions found in JDJ 12.5 (3 for a) and 3 for b)) for numerical values of your choice.          Mathematica template
  • Using Eq. 6.58-61 in JDJ, calculate E and B in the case of the motion of  a charge Q along the x axis at a constant velocity v. Check your answer using a Lorentz transformation from a frame where Q is at rest
  • Check that the retarded potentials satisfy the Lorentz gauge condition
  • JDJ problems: 6.2 c) for E field only and 6.18

13 Readings: LL 9  and JDJ 14

Problem set (due next Thursday)

JDJ problems: 6.19, 6. 20, 14.3 and 14.5
Happy Thanksgivings!
15 midterm 2: Wednesday 12/1 12:30-2:30 PM

Readings: LL  Ch. 9: sections 72-76 and JDJ Ch: 14 and 16

Problem set (due next Tuesday 12/7)

  • JDJ problems: 14.3 and 14.5
  • Derive explicitly all the steps between Eq. 14.1 and 14.14 in JDJ
  • Draw polar plots for the power radiated per unit solid angle for an accelerated particle    1) in the non-relativistic case, 2) in the linear relativistic case and 3) the circular      relativistic case. Use numerical values of your choice for the acceleration and velocity.

final: Friday 12/17 9:45AM 301 VAN