Physics 834: Classical Electrodynamics (Fall, 2004)

[Introduction and General Format|Syllabus]
[Problem Sets| Suggested Reading]
[Offices Hours; Grader| [Lecture Notes| Random Information]

Introduction and General Format

Physics 834 is the first quarter of a full-year sequence on Classical Electrodynamics. The text will be "Classical Electrodynamics," 3rd edition, by J. D. Jackson . The instructor is David Stroud. The class will meet MWF from 9:25 - 10:25 in Smith 1180, with (rare) meetings on Friday from 8:30 -9:18.

NOTE: There will be no class on Monday, Oct. 11 or Wed., Oct. 13. There will be a double class on Fri., Oct. 15 (from 8:30 to 10:18 or so, with a short break).

Grades will be based on roughly weekly homework (25%), a midterm (30%) and a final (45%). There will be no homework due the last week of classes. (Note slight change in relative weighting of midterm and final.) In grading the homeworks, I will discard your lowest problem set, and obtain a percentage score based on all your other problem sets. The midterm is planned for Friday, October 29 from 9:00 - 10:18, in our usual classroom. Note that exam will start slightly earlier than previously announced. The exam will be open book and open notes. The final will be given on Friday, December 3 from 8:25 to 10:25, also open book and open notes, and also in our previous classroom. (This is a change from the time previously announced.)

NOTE: If you have been closed out of this course and wish to enroll, please come to me at the end of the first class this Wednesday, and I will sign an add slip.


During the fall quarter, I expect to cover material corresponding to the first five chapters of Jackson, and, with luck, also the sixth chapter. More details to follow soon.

The syllabus of winter and spring quarters are subject to change. In winter, I expect to cover material chosen from chapters 7-10, and maybe 11, of Jackson. In spring, I plan to do chapters 11, 12, parts of 13 and 14, and then some material drawn from more modern topics, such as photonic band gap materials, nano-optical materials, and others.

Note: a good online math reference is, which has lots of analysis, plus a great deal of information about special functions. Two good books are "Tables of Integrals, Series, and Products," 6th ed., by Gradshteyn, Ryzhik, Jeffrey, and Zwillinger (Academic, San Diego, 2000), and "Mathematical Methods for Physicists," by Arfken, Weber, and Weber (Academic, San Diego, 2001).

Problem Sets

Each problem on each set is worth 10 points, unless otherwise specified. You are free to discuss the problems with one another, but you should write up your solutions independently.

Problem Set 1 (due Friday, October 1 by 5PM in the box of the grader): Jackson, Chapter 1, Problems 1, 3, 4 (omit sketch), 5, and 6.

oSolutions to Set 1.

Problem Set 2 (due Friday, October 8 by 5PM in the box of the grader): Jackson, Problems 1.10, 1.7 (omit part about gauge of wire), 2.1 (d), (e), 2.2

oSolutions to Set 2.

Problem Set 3 (due Friday, October 15 by 5PM in box of grader): Jackson, Problem 2.3 (a) (skip the explicit verification) and (b) (skip the plot); 2.7 (a), (b), and (c); 2.10 (part c only); and 2.8 (a) and (b).

oSolutions to Set 3.

Problem Set 4 (due Friday, October 22 by 5PM in box of grader): Jackson 2.13(a), 2.23(a), 3.1, 3.2(a).

oSolutions to Set 4 (this is a .tif file).

Some suggested study problems for the midterm (NOT to be turned in! Purely optional. Probably will not be solved in class.): Jackson 1.8, 2.4, 2.5, 2.26, 3.7.

oProblem Set 5 (in Postscript).

oSolutions to Problem Set 5 (in .pdf).

Problem Set 6 (due Friday, November 12 by 5PM). Jackson 4.1(a) and (b) (you need include moments only through quadrupole), 4.2, 4.4(a), 4.7, and 4.10.

oSolutions to Problem Set 6 (in .pdf).

oProblem Set 7 (in Postscript).

oSolutions to Problem Set 7 (plus part of one problem from Prob. Set. 6) (in .pdf).

Problem Set 8 (due Monday, November 29 by 5PM). Jackson (5.6), (5.13), (5.16(a)) and (5.19(a)). In (5.13), I ask only that you find the magnetic flux density B, by whatever method, inside and outside the sphere - you do not need to find the vector potential if you can find the flux density by another method. RECOMMENDED FOR STUDY, BUT NOT TO BE TURNED IN: Jackson (5.17).

oSolutions to Problem Set 8 (in .pdf).

Suggested Reading

The reading suggestions are not assignments. Instead, they are suggestions which may help you understand my lectures better. I will shortly start posting suggested reading to prepare for future classes, and to better understand past classes.

For the lectures of Sept. 22, 24, and 27, I suggest reading Jackson, Chapter 1, sections 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, and 1.11. I will not be covering the material in sections 1.6, 1.12, or 1.13. If you would like to read ahead, I suggest Jackson 2.1 and 2.2. (I might hit a little of this at the end of today's lecture.)

For Sept. 29, in addition to the above, I suggest reading Jackson secs. 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, and 2.7. I doubt that I will cover most of these on Sept. 29, however.

For lecture of October 1, I recommend Jackson, secs. 2.8, 2.9, and 2.10 (either before or after the lecture).

For lectures of October 6, 8, and 15, I suggest Jackson 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8.

For lectures of October 25 and November 1, I suggest Jackson secs. 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3. I will soon thereafter cover sec. 4.4, parts of 4.5 and 4.6, and sec. 4.7.

Office Hours; Grader

My office hours will be MWF 10:30-11:30 and by appointment, in Smith 4034. My telephone no. is 292-8140 and my email address is

The grader is Kohjiro Kobayashi. His email is

Lecture Notes

Click on the red circles below to download lecture notes in pdf format. These are my hand-written notes, were originally intended for my eyes only, and I do not guarantee that they are mistake-free. I am posting them in case some of you find them useful.

oLecture notes through October 1 (and part of October 4). 43 pages.

oLecture notes for October 4. About 10 pages.

oLecture notes for October 6 (plus a little bit of Oct. 4 and Oct. 8).

oLecture notes for October 8.

oLecture notes for October 15 and 18.

oLecture notes for October 20 and 22 (in .tif format).

o Lecture notes for October 27 (review for midterm).

oLecture notes for October 25 and November 1.

oLecture notes for November 3, 8, and part of November 10 (remainder of Chapter 4 of Jackson).

oLecture notes for the rest of November 10 (beginning of Chapter 5).

oLecture notes, pp. 138-155 (more dielectric boundary value problems; Biot-Savart Law; magnetic dipole moment).

oLecture notes, pp. 156-176 (torque on a magnetic dipole; energy of magnetic dipole in external field; macroscopic equations of magnetostatics and boundary conditions).

oLecture notes, pp. 177-93 (anisotropic dielectric sphere in an external field; Faraday's Law; energy in a magnetic field; self- and mutual inductance). Some is a bit sketchy.

oLecture notes, pp. 194-204 (mutual inductance; a few comments on LRC circuits; some simple calculations of self and mutual inductances'; superconducting sphere in an external magnetic field). Also includes notes for Wednesday, Dec. 1 review.

oBrief note on vector and scalar potential for a magnetic dipole (in .ps format);

o (same in .pdf format).

Random Information

oCharles Augustin de Coulomb

oSimeon Denis Poisson

oPierre Simon Marquis de Laplace

oGeorge Green

oJohann Karl Friedrich Gauss

oJohann Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet

oPaul Adrien Maurice Dirac

oLeopold Kronecker

oAdrien-Marie Legendre

oWilhelm Bessel

oAndre Marie Ampere

oJean-Baptiste Biot

oMichael Faraday

oJames Clerk Maxwell