PHYC30016 Electrodynamics

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2017:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.Show/hide details
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Feb-2017 to 28-May-2017
Assessment Period End 23-Jun-2017
Last date to Self-Enrol 10-Mar-2017
Census Date 31-Mar-2017
Last date to Withdraw without fail 05-May-2017

Timetable can be viewed here.
For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 to 4 hours per week, 36 in total, lectures and problem-solving classes
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment of 170 hours



One of

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And Mathematics

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Semester 1, Semester 2

And at least one of

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Semester 1, Semester 2
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Prof Ann Roberts


Email: PHYC30016@physics.unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject provides an introduction to electrodynamics and a wide range of applications including communications, superconductors, plasmas, novel materials, photonics and astrophysics. Topics include: revision of Maxwell’s equations, strategies for solving boundary value problems for static and time-varying fields, electromagnetic fields in materials (including dielectrics, magnetic materials, conductors, plasmas and metamaterials), electromagnetic waves, derivation of geometric optics from Maxwell’s equations, guided waves, relativistic electrodynamics and the covariant formulation of electrodynamics, radiation by antennas and accelerating charged particles.

Learning Outcomes:

Students completing this subject should be able to:

  • explain classical electrodynamics based on Maxwell's equations including its formulation in covariant form;
  • solve problems involving the calculation of fields, the motion of charged particles and the production of electromagnetic waves; and
  • analyse the solution of these problems in the context of a range of applications.

Two assignments each equivalent to 1500 words during the semester (10% each), and a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (80%).

Prescribed Texts:

D J Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics, 4th edition, John Wiley

Recommended Texts:

J D Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics, 3rd edition, Academic Press.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

A student who completes this subject should be able to:

  • analyse how to solve a problem by applying simple fundamental laws to more complicated situations
  • apply abstract concepts to real-world situations
  • solve relatively complicated problems using approximations
  • participate as an effective member of a group in tutorial discussions
  • manage time effectively in order to be prepared for tutorial classes, undertake the written assignments and the examination.

This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Chemical Physics (specialisation of Physics major)
Mathematical Physics
Physics (specialisation of Physics major)
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.

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