Physics 835: Classical Electrodynamics (Winter, 2004-5)

[Introduction and General Format|Syllabus]
[Problem Sets| Suggested Reading]
[Offices Hours; Grader| [Lecture Notes| Random Information]

Introduction and General Format

Physics 835 is the second quarter of a full-year sequence on Classical Electrodynamics. The text will continue to be "Classical Electrodynamics," 3rd edition, by J. D. Jackson . The instructor is David Stroud. The class will meet MWF from 9:25 - 10:25 in McPherson 1041, with (occasional) meetings on Friday from 8:30 -9:18.

Most course information will be available on this web site, and will also be distributed by email. If you are not receiving course email, please let me know ( and I will add your name to the distribution list.

Grades will be based on roughly weekly homework (25%), a midterm (30%) and a final (45%). In grading the homeworks, I will discard your lowest problem set, and obtain a percentage score based on all your other problem sets. The midterm will be Friday, February 3 from 9:00 to 10:20. The final will be Wednesday, March 16 from 9:25 to 11:25. Both will be open book and open notes, and will take place in our usual classroom.


During the winter quarter, I expect to cover material corresponding to Chapters 6-9 and part of Chapter 10 of Jackson (Maxwell's equations, plane electromagnetic waves, waveguides and resonant cavities, classical radiation theory, and some electromagnetic scattering theory). Some of the lectures may include material not in Jackson.

The tentative syllabus for spring quarter is special theory of relativity (chapters 11 and 12); some topics chosen from chapters 13 and 14, and material drawn from more modern topics, such as photonic band gap materials, nano-optical materials, and others.

Note: a useful online math reference is, which has lots of analysis, plus a great deal of information about special functions. Two good books are "Tables of Integrals, Series, and Products," 6th ed., by Gradshteyn, Ryzhik, Jeffrey, and Zwillinger (Academic, San Diego, 2000), and "Mathematical Methods for Physicists," by Arfken, Weber, and Weber (Academic, San Diego, 2001).

Problem Sets

Each problem on each set is worth 10 points, unless otherwise specified. You are free to discuss the problems with one another, but you should write up your solutions independently. Problem sets will generally be due on Wednesdays at 5PM in the box of the grader.

oProblem Set 1 (in PostScript).

oSolutions to Prob. Set. 1 (in .pdf).

oProblem Set 2 (in PostScript).

oProblem Set 3 (in PostScript).

oSolutions to Prob. Set 2 (.pdf)

oSolutions to Prob. Set 3 (.pdf)

oProblem Set 4, Parts I and II (in .pdf)

oSolutions to Prob. Set 4 (.pdf).

oProblem Set 5 (in .pdf).

oSolutions to Prob. Set 5 (.pdf).

oProblem Set 6 (in .pdf).

oSolutions to Prob. Set 6 (.pdf)

oProblem Set 7 (in .pdf).

oSolutions to Prob. Set 7(.pdf).

oProblem Set 8 (in .pdf).

oSolutions to Prob. Set 8 (.pdf).

Office Hours, Grader

My office hours will be MWF 10:30 -11:30 in PRB2048. My email is The grader is Kohjiro Kobayashi (email, box in physics department office). Please get in touch with him if you have any questions about the homework grading.

NOTE: After February 15, my office will be 2048 of the Physics Research Building. Phone, email, etc. will remain the same as before.

Suggested Reading

For this week, I recommend reading Jackson, chapter 6, secs. 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, and 6.7. I also recommend section 6.6, though I don't plan to cover it in class, except perhaps a brief overview. Further reading suggestions will follow shortly.

Suggested reading for Jan 7, 10, 12, and 14: Jackson, section 6.6 (will not be covered in class or in exams; purely for further insights) 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4. I will cover the material in Jackson, chapter 7.5 and 7.8, but somewhat differently from the way Jackson does it.

Lecture Notes

Click on the red circles below to download lecture notes in pdf format. These are my hand-written notes, were originally intended for my eyes only, and I do not guarantee that they are mistake-free. I am posting them in case some of you find them useful.

oLecture notes for January 3 and 5 (.pdf format). On p. 15 of these notes, second and third lines, the quantity I denote u should have been called u_{field}, the energy stored in the electromagnetic fields. The total energy is given at the bottom of the page.

oLecture notes for January 7, 10, and 12 (.pdf format). These also include part of my planned lecture for Friday.

oLecture notes for January 14, 19, and 21 (.pdf format).

oLecture notes on a model for optical rotation (.pdf format). Pages 66-69.

oLecture notes on waveguides and resonant cavities. Pages 70-97. (.pdf format).

oLecture notes on radiation (part 1). Pages 98-111 (pdf format).

oLecture notes on radiation (part 2); .tif format.

oLecture notes on radiation (part 2); .pdf format.

oLecture notes on scattering (through March 7; pdf format).

oRemainder of scattering lecture notes; brief review notes (.pdf format).

Random Information

oCharles Augustin de Coulomb

oSimeon Denis Poisson

oPierre Simon Marquis de Laplace

oGeorge Green

oJohann Karl Friedrich Gauss

oJohann Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet

oPaul Adrien Maurice Dirac

oLeopold Kronecker

oAdrien-Marie Legendre

oWilhelm Bessel

oAndre Marie Ampere

oJean-Baptiste Biot

oMichael Faraday

oJames Clerk Maxwell