Course Code: B22005H-01

Course Name: Electrodynamics

Credits: 4.0

Level: Undergraduate   

Lecture Time: 40 sessions, 2 hours/session

Course Description

Electrodynamics is a basic theory course in physics, and is aimed at exploring the properties of electromagnetic fields, law of motion, and its interaction with charged matter. The main focus ofthis course is to explain the theory of macroscopic electromagnetic field. This consists of four primary parts: the establishment of Maxwell equation group and its profound physical meaning, basic properties of constant field, the propagation and radiation of electromagnetic wave, and basic knowledge of special relativity. By studying of this course, we hope students can grasp the basic law of electromagnetic field, gain a deep understanding of the physical properties of electromagnetic fields and the concept of space-time, and at the same time gain the ability to deal with and analyze some of the basic issues in the field of this course. We also hope this course can provide students with the necessary theoretical tools for further study of the professional courses and research work.

Topics and Schedule

The main content of this course is divided into eight chapters. The first chapter comes as an overview to introduce the basic law of electromagnetic field. The second and third chapters are designed to discuss the problem of constant electromagnetic field and present the basic methods of solving electric field and magnetic field by explaining the static electric field and the static magnetic field. The fourth chapter is aimed at discussing the propagation of electromagnetic field mainly including the reflection and refraction of plane electromagnetic wave and interface electromagnetic wave. The fifth chapter is to discuss radiation of electromagnetic wave by introducing the concept of potential. Students should primarily master the concept of retarded potential and approximate method for solving the radiation field. The sixth and seventh chapters will introduce the view of time and space of relativity, interpret the basic ideas and contents of special relativity, then discuss the transformation of electromagnetic field in different reference systems and the interaction between charged particles and electromagnetic fields. The eighth chapter comes as an extended discourse of electrodynamics to present the action form of electromagnetic field, coordination between the special relativity theory and quantum theory, electrodynamics in brane universe, Lorentz symmetry and modified dispersion relations, etc.

0. Review of Mathematical Basis of Electrodynamics
   0.0 A brief history of the development of electrodynamics
   0.1 Basis of vector analysis
   0.2 Commonly used formula and some theorems of vector fields

   0.3 Vector operations in different coordinate systems

1. Basic Laws of Electromagnetic Phenomena
   1.1 Charge and electric field
   1.2 Electric current and magnetic field
   1.3 Maxwell equation group
   1.4 Electromagnetic properties of the medium
   1.5 Boundary value relation of electromagnetic field
   1.6 Energy and energy flow of electromagnetic field

      Exercise class

2. Electrostatic Field

   2.1 The scalar potential of electrostatic field and its differential equation

   2.2 Uniqueness theorem
   2.3 Laplace equation, Separation variable method
      Exercise class
   2.4 Mirror method
   2.5 Green function
   2.6 Electric multipole moment
       Exercise class
3.  Static Magnetic Field

   3.1 Vector potential and its differential equation
   3.2 Magnetic scalar potential
   3.3* Magnetic multipole moment

   3.4 Aharonov-Bohm effect
   3.5 Electromagnetic properties of superconductors

4.  Propagation of Electromagnetic Field
   4.1 Plane electromagnetic wave
   4.2 Electromagnetic wave and medium interface
   4.3 Propagation of electromagnetic waves in the presence of conductor
   4.4 Resonant cavity
   4.5 Waveguide
5.  Radiation of Electromagnetic Field
   5.1 Vector potential and scalar potential of electromagnetic field

   5.2 Retarded potential
   5.3 Electric dipole radiation
   5.4* Magnetic dipole and electric quadrupole radiation

       Exercise class
   5.5 Diffraction of electromagnetic waves
   5.6 Momentum of electromagnetic field

6.  Special Relativity
   6.1 The experimental basis of theory of relativity
   6.2 The basic principle of relativity, Lorenz transform
   6.3 Space-time theory of relativity
   6.4 The four dimensional form of the relativity theory
   6.5 The relativistic invariance of electrodynamics
   6.6 Relativistic mechanics
   6.7* The Lagrangian and Hamiltonian of charged particles in electromagnetic field
     Exercise class

7.  Interaction Between Charged Particles and Electromagnetic Fields
   7.1 The potential of moving charged particles and the radiated electromagnetic field
   7.2* Radiation of charged particles at high speed
   7.3* Spectral analysis of radiation
   7.4* Cerenkov radiation
   7.5 The effect of the electromagnetic field of charged particles on the particle itself
   7.6 Scattering and absorption of electromagnetic waves, dispersion of medium
      Exercise class

8.  Extended Discourse of Electrodynamics
   8.1 Action form of electromagnetic field
   8.2* The coordination between special relativity and quantum theory
   8.3 Electrodynamics in brane universe
  8.4 Lorentz symmetry and modified dispersion relations

      Final Revision

Note: * denotes content selected to lecture.


Usual Performance (homework, attendance):  30%;

Midterm examination : 20%;

Final examination (Closed-book written examination) : 50;

This course consists of 80 class hours, 62-64 for lecturing, and 4 for the two examinations. We will arrange 14-12 class hours for exercise class, according the particular case of lecturing.


Electrodynamics, Third Edition), Shuohong Guo, Higher Education Press;


[1] Classical Electrodynamics (Photocopy Edition) (Third Edition), John D.Jackson, Higher Education Press.

[2] Electrodynamics, Changqi Cao, People's Education Press.

[3] A Brief Course of Electrodynamics, Yunqiang Yu, Peking University press.