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PX384 - Electrodynamics

  • Module code: PX384
  • Module name: Electrodynamics
  • Department: Physics
  • Credit: 7.5

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

To introduce the magnetic vector potential and to show that electromagnetism is Lorentz invariant. To discuss particle dynamics in plasmas

Principal learning outcomes

At the end of the module, you should: Be familiar with the vector potential and Lorentz invariant form of Maxwell's equations; Be able to manipulate Maxwell’s equations and solve representative problems using 4-vectors; Be able to describe the propagation of EM waves through free space and dielectric materials; Be able to solve problems in single particle dynamics.

Timetabled teaching activities

11 Lectures and 4 problem classes

Departmental link

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/physics/teach/syllabi/year3/px384

Other essential notes

The module starts by revising the magnetic vector potential, A, which is defined so that the magnetic field B=curl A. We will see that this is the natural quantity to consider when exploring how electric and magnetic fields transform under Lorentz transformations (special relativity). The radiation (EM-waves) emitted by accelerating charges are described using retarded potentials, which are the time-dependent analogs of the usual electrostatic potential and the magnetic vector potential, and have the wave-like nature of light built in. The scattering of light by free electrons (Thompson scattering) and by bound electrons (Rayleigh scattering) will also be described. Understanding the bound electron problem led Rayleigh to his celebrated explanation of why the sky is blue and why sunlight appears redder at sunrise and sunset.

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
7.5 CATS (Module code: PX384-7.5)
D (Assessed/examined work) Coursework 15%
  1.5 hour examination (Summer) 85%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessment visiting/exchange PART-YEAR ONLY 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

Core
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys) (F304) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys) (FG33) - Year 3
Optional Core

N/A

Optional
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc) (F300) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Physics (with Intercalated Year) (F301) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (BSc) (G100) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics with Intercalated Year (G101) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) (G103) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) (G103) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 5
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe (G106) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc) (GF13) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (with Intercalated Year) (GF14) - Year 4