P541 Electromagnetic Theory I

                              Syllabus , Spring 2014


Instructor:    Prof. Elbio Dagotto, edagotto@utk.edu, office room 302

            (in front of elevator, third floor), South College building.


          Form for the students to fill the first day can be found here


Text:    Classical Electrodynamics” by J. D. Jackson, third edition, John

             Wiley & Sons editors.  This is a book considered ``difficult’’ but

             it is widely used in most Physics Departments for this type of classes.

             E&M from Jackson is a ``traditional’’ obstacle that Physics students

             must take and survive.


             We will attempt to cover the first 11 chapters of Jackson’s book.

             But in practice, perhaps we will only cover 9 or 10 of them. My

             preference is that you learn deeply a few topics, than superficially many.


             Near the end of the semester,some of the lectures on radiation will

             be given following “Introduction to Electrodynamics” by David J. Griffiths,

             third edition. This book is excellent and can provide a vey solid

             foundation for our course since there is a substantial overlap with

             Jackson, but does not cover all the topics we need.


             You may also need a table of functions and table of integrals (such

              as “Table of Integrals,  Series, and Products”, fifth edition,

              I. S. Gradshteyn et al., editors, Academic Press) to solve some

              of the homework problems. Or just find integrals via Google

              or using Mathematica. This class is about physics, not math, thus

              solving integrals should not be our focus.


Lectures:      Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:40 to 10:55. Please arrive on time.

                      The room is Physics 306. The lectures will appear in the web

                      page after being delivered, but I encourage that you also take

                      notes to understand better the context of the discussions.



Office hours:  Mondays 2:15 to 3:15. Many students prefer email consultation:

             you can send emails with comments/questions at any time. You can

             also scan formulas that you may struggle with and send them to me as a PDF.


Schedule:       First lecture:  Thursday January 9th.       

                      Last lecture:  Thursday April 24th.        

                      Total number of lectures: 29.

                      Spring break:  M-F March 17 – 21.

                      Final exam: take home exam given to you the last week of class.

                      The official 2013-2014 calendar of UT can be found here.


Web page:     http://sces.phys.utk.edu/~dagotto/electromag/index2014.htm


Homework:   Due on Thursday at the beginning of class, following assignment

                      on previous Thursday. The assignments will be listed in the web

                      page. The homework will be graded by a grader and return to you.

                      Each problem set will be graded on a scale from 0 to 10.

                     The homework grade will be normalized to 40 points at the end

                      of the semester. Solutions to all homework problems will be

                      available in the webpage after the deadline.


                      I will be very reluctant to accept excuses for returning the

                      homework late, since you will always be given a full week of

                      time. But if a real emergency arises, I will understand.


                     In the early stages of setting up the solution of a HW problem,

                     I encourage discussion among students. Often you only need a quick

                     tip to start. But then it is expected that you solve all the problems



                     It is crucial that you present the homework, as well as the exams,

                     in a well-organized manner, with framed results, sufficient detail of

                     the intermediate steps,  and a discussion of any assumption you

                     may be making along the way in finding the solution.

                     Prepare sketches by hand of the formulas you found, i.e.

                     analyze if the solution makes sense via special cases such as

                     asymptotic behaviors. No need to save paper!


Grader:       Our grader this semester will be Mr. Deepak Sapkota.

                     Office hours will be Wednesdays from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM (or other

                     times by special appointment). Grader’s room number is Room 217 of

                     the Nielsen Physics Building, and email is dsapkota@utk.edu  .


Exams:      There will be two ``midterm’’ take-home exams. You will be notified

                   at least one week in advance of the precise day when the midterms

                   will be given. I will deliver one less lecture per exam, to free some

                   time for you to work on the exam and to allow for consultation if needed.


                   There will be a final exam, in a “take-home-exam” format.


                   The problem exams will be similar to the HW problems. Thus,

                   I advice that instead of trying to solve additional problems of Jackson

                   (a very difficult task even for the professor) that you instead focus

                   on understanding deeply the HW problems and the problems

                    explained in the lectures. In your solutions provide a lot of detail,

                   as recommended for the HW.


Grading:       50 points for exams (15 each midterm, 20 final);

                      40 points for homework;  10 for class participation.