Spring 2009

Introductory Physics II: Electromagnetism and Optics

Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as PHYS-17


Jagu Jagannathan (Sections 01 and 02)
Arthur G. Zajonc (Sections 01 and 02)


Most of the physical phenomena we encounter in everyday life are due to the electromagnetic force. This course will begin with Coulomb’s law for the force between two charges at rest and introduce the electric field in this context. We will then discuss moving charges and the magnetic interaction between electric currents. The mathematical formulation of the basic laws in terms of the electric and magnetic fields will allow us to work towards the unified formulation originally given by Maxwell. His achievement has, as a gratifying outcome, the description of light as an electromagnetic wave. The course will consider both ray-optics and wave-optics descriptions of light. Laboratory exercises will emphasize electrical circuits, electronic measuring instruments, optics and optical experiments. Three hours of lecture and discussion and one three-hour laboratory per week. Requisite: Physics 16 or 23. Fall and Spring semesters. Fall semester: Professor Loinaz. Spring semester: Professors Jagannathan and Loinaz.