29::213 Classical Electrodynamics I Syllabus

Fall Semester 2000

Instructor: Prof. Yannick Meurice


Course Content

Maxwell's Equations, Electrostatics, Magnetostatics and Electromagnetic Waves. (Approximately the first 7 chapters of Jackson's book). This is a lot of material. The completion of this goal requires an efficient use of the class time.


The students taking 29:213 are assumed to be familiar with classical electrodynamics at an undergraduate level, in particular with Maxwell's equations and basic vector calculus (e.g. as presented in the very good textbook of D. Griffiths "Introduction to Electrodynamics").


The main textbook (abbreviated as J.) is : J. D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics; 3rd Edition, Wiley. I will do my best to follow the notations and the terminology used in this textbook. I will also use Feynman's lectures vol. 2 and J. Schwinger's Classical Electrodynamics. All these books are on reserve at the Physics Library.


The "official" units for the course are the SI units (MKSA). See Appendix in J. .

Homeworks and Reading Assignment

Readings, short derivations and problems will be assigned each Wednesday. Short derivations are straightforward calculations that I do not intend to do during class time. They are not collected, but they are exam material. Of the order of five problems (usually from J.) are assigned each week. They will be collected and graded. They are due by Tuesday 1:00 PM the week after they are assigned. Use the first page of the homework (or send me an e-mail) to request a discussion in the Wednesday's class of a particular problem or of a short derivation.

I consider the problems as one of the most important part of the course. They are an excellent preparation for the qualifying exam. Please do not use existing solutions, it will spoil the important experience of finding it by yourself step by step. Students are encouraged to discuss the questions among themselves, however the handed homework should reflect accurately the individual understandings of the questions. Homeworks will be posted at http://www-hep.physics.uiowa.edu/~meurice/ced100/homeworks.html . The students should be prepared to spend 3 hours doing exercises and reading for each hour spent in the classroom.

Examinations and Final Grade

Two midterm exams will be given approximately after the first and second third of the semester. I usually divide them into two parts: "basic" (closed book) and "applications" (open book). The final exam is comprehensive and closed book. The final grade will be based on homeworks (20 percent), midterms (50 percent) and the final exam (30 percent).

Class Attendance

Attendance at lectures is highly recommended but not required. You are strongly encouraged to ask questions during the lectures. There are no ``stupid questions''.

Complaint Procedures

You should feel free to express any dissatisfaction regarding the course to me. ``Academic Misconduct'' and ``Student Complaints Concerning Faculty Actions'' procedures are available for your review in the Schedule of Courses, pp. 43-44. The Department Chairman, Prof. W. Polyzou, can be contacted through the Main Office 203 VAN. As stated in the procedures noted above, complaints or comments regarding TAs should first be directed to the instructor.

Students with Disabilities

Any student who has a disability which may require some modification of seating, testing or other class requirements should see me after the class or at a more convenient time so that appropriate arrangements can be made.