Physics 836: Classical Electrodynamics (Spring, 2005)

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

Introduction and General Format

Physics 836 is the third 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 Smith 1042, 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 given April 29 in our usual classroom from 9:00 to 10:20. The final will be given on the last regularly scheduled class of the quarter, which is Friday, June 3, from 8:30 to 10:30.


During the spring quarter, I expect to cover material corresponding to Chapters 11, 12, parts of 14, and some other topics from chapters 13 and 15. In addition, I am planning to discuss some special topics in electromagnetism. I expect to cover special relativity (kinematics, dynamics, applications to electricity and magnetism), radiation from accelerated charges, Cerenkov radiation, and possibly Bremsstrahlung. Among the special topics, I may cover photonic band gap materials, optical properties of nanoscale materials, and a short introduction to nonlinear optics from a classical electomagnetic point of view. Further details to be announced shortly.

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 .pdf).

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

oProblem Set 2 (in .pdf).

oSolutions to Prob. Set 2 (in .tif).

oSolutions to Prob. Set 2 (in .pdf)

oProblem Set 3 (in .pdf).

oSolutions to Prob Set 3 (in .tif).

oSolutions to Prob. Set 3 (in .pdf)

oProblem Set 4 (in .pdf).

oSolutions to Prob. Set 4 (in .tif)

oProblem Set 5 (in .pdf).

oSolutions to Prob. Set 5 (in .tif)

oProblem Set 6 (in .pdf).

oSolutions to Prob. Set 6 (in .tif)

oProblem Set 7 (in .pdf).

oSolutions to Prob. Set 7 (in .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.

Suggested Reading

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.

oPart I of lecture notes (in .pdf).

oPart II of lecture notes (in .pdf).

oPart III of lecture notes (in .pdf).

oPart IV of lecture notes (in .pdf). (They include a little of Ch. 12, plus Chap. 14 and Chap. 13.)

oPart V of lecture notes (in .pdf) (photonic band gap materials).

oPart VI of lecture notes (in .pdf). (lectures of May 23 and 25, on electrodynamics of superconductors, and on disordered conductors)

oPart VII of lecture notes (in .pdf). (last two lectures: numerical approaches to solving electrostatic equations in disordered media; review for final.)

Random Information

o Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov

o Albert Einstein

o Hendrik Antoon Lorentz

oGeorge Francis FitzGerald

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