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PHY3032 : Advanced Electromagnetism

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Mark Rayson
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To enhance the students’ knowledge of the fundamental theory of electromagnetism and to enable the students to view these laws within the wider context of physics as a whole.

Module Summary
The theory of electromagnetism was a tour de force of 19th century physics. In this module it will be placed in its proper context with regard to another pillar of classical physics, namely, special relativity. The course ends with a discussion of a radical change to our view of the world required to understand previously covered phenomena when considering the particle nature of light.

Outline Of Syllabus

Scalar and vector fields, vector calculus, electrostatics, scalar potentials, Maxwell’s equations inferred from electrostatics and coordinate transformations, magnetic charge and duality transformations, magnetic vector potentials, four-potential and four-current, radiation and the particle nature of light.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion18:308:30Revision for final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Final Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion63:0018:00Tutorial assignments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00Tutorial sessions to cover solutions to practical problems
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00Formal lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery120:102:00Office hours
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study139:3039:30Reviewing lecture notes, general reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide core material and guidance for further reading to furnish the fundamental concepts, as well as their origins, of electromagnetism.

Problem solving and tutorials will enable the students to both apply these fundamental concepts to physical problems and to show, for themselves, some of the intricate relationships in the underlying theory.

In addition office hours (two per week) will provide an opportunity for more direct contact between individual students and the lecturer: a typical student might spend a total of one or two hours over the course of the module, either individually or as part of a group.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises2M20Tutorial assignments
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination provides the opportunity for the student to demonstrate their understanding of the lecture course material. Tutorials allow the students to demonstrate more in depth application of the principles learnt as well as providing an opportunity to confirm the more subtle/involved statements made in the course.

Reading Lists