PHYS 354 -- Electricity and Magnetism

Fall Term 2004

Class: Monday, Wednesday & Friday 10:00-11:00 Henn 202
Tutorial: Monday 14:00-15:00, Hennings 201
Professor: Janis McKenna
Office: Hennings-Physics 335
Phone: 822-4337
E-mail: My email most often gets answered evenings between 11pm and 1am.
Office Hours: Mondays, 3:00-4:00, Thursdays 3:00-4:00 or by special appointment.
Webpage: (this is it)
Text: Introduction to Electrodynamics, 3rd edition, by D. Griffiths
If you're looking for more:
  • Electricity and Magnetism , by E.M.Purcell (slightly lower level than Griffiths, very nicely done)
  • The Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol. 2 , by Feynman, Leighton & Sands (great book - one of my favourites)
  • Electromagnetic Fields and Waves by Lorrain and Corson (level similar to Griffiths)
  • Mathematical Methods for Physicists, by Arfken (great reference for mathematics, vector calculus, differential equations, special functions, coordinate systems, complex variable theory, and a wide variety of applications in all fields of physics, including E&M )

Outline of topics covered in the course:

You will find we will cover all the material in Griffiths, Chapters 1-8.

Then we briefly cover Electromagnetic Waves (Chapter 9, sections 1 & 2 only), a tiny bit on Potentials and Fields (Chapter 10) and the relationship between E&M and Relativity (Chapter 12, parts of section 3).

PHYS 454 - offered in the winter term - covers the rest of Griffiths: Dynamics of E&M - propagation of electromagnetic waves in various media, radiation, potential theory, applications of E&M. i.e. much of the material in Chapters 9-12

Tutorials: For the first four weeks tutorials will start out lecture style, but interrupts of any kind are encouraged and we can also consider any homework problems. We'll review vector analysis and vector calculus, Dirac Delta functions, curvilinear coordinates, techniques for solving differential equations (Laplaces' equation, specificly) and applications in E&M. Then we'll do worked examples, review of mathematical techniques, homework problems, midterm exam problems, and any concepts/ problems you want to discuss.

Grading: 50% Final Exam
20% Assignments (10 will be assigned over the term)
15% Midterm Exam 1 -- October 13 --PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE!!!
15% Midterm Exam 2 -- November 10

There is no tolerance for late assignments without medical or tragic reason, as solutions will be usually be posted the day after due date.

You are encouraged to seek help from each other in doing the homework, discussing the problems in a study group is a great way to learn, but I expect each student to write up (and understand!) his/her own solutions handed in for grading.

List of Lectures & Topics for all 35 Lectures

This will be updated lecture by lecture as term proceeds. You should be able to look up topics for each lecture the evening (sometimes late) preceeding it.

Cool E&M applets:


The final exam for PHYS 354 is scheduled in LSK 201 on Saturday Dec.11, 3:30-6:30pm You may bring in your own two-sided cheat sheet. I will supply you with the usual photocopies of the front and back inside covers of Griffiths' textbook, and my own cheatsheet. You may bring a calculator if it makes you feel secure, but I suspect you will have no use for it.


Problem Sets: (due date)

1 (Sept.15) , 2 (Sept.24), 3 (Oct.1), 4 (Oct.8), 5 (Oct.20) 6 (Oct.29) 7 (Nov.5) 8 (Nov.19) 9 (Nov.26) 10 (Dec. 3)

Solutions: Problem sets and solutions have been removed

Lighter E&M stuff

Janis McKenna, UBC Department of Physics and Astronomy, September 2, 2004

email me at