Advanced Electricity and Magnetism (PY 785)


Physics 785 (Advanced Electricity and Magnetism) is a graduate level introduction to the classical theory of the electromagnetic field. The first semester covers mainly static phenomena, and the second semester (PY 786) will cover time dependent phenomena.

  1. Lecture: MWF 9:10-10:00, RID 314
  2. Instructor: T. Schaefer, Office RID 400F
    email: Thomas_Schaefer[at]
    Office hours: MW. 3:00-4:00 and by appointment.
  3. Teaching Assistant: TBA
  4. Homework:
    Most Fridays a set of homework problems will be assigned. (You can also check the website.) The homework is due Friday the following week at 9:10am. No late homework will be accepted. The lowest homework score will be dropped.
  5. Exams
    There will be two midterm exams and a final.
  6. Grade
    Your final grade will be determined by weighting the various portions of the course as follows:
    Midterms: 30%, Final: 40%, Homework: 30%
  7. Textbook
    (required) Classical Electrodynamics (Third Edition), John David Jackson. This is really the only book you need. If you absolutely think you need to consult another text book: ``Introduction to Electrodynamics'' by David J. Griffiths is an abridged version of Jackson for undergradutes, and ``Classical Electrodynamics'' by Walter Greiner is (basically) a translation of Jackson's book to German, which was subsequently translated back to english. An extra resource are two volumes in the series by Landau and Lifshitz, ``The Classical Theory of Fields'' (Vol 2) and ``Electrodynamics of Continuous Media'' (Vol 8).
  8. Course Objectives
    The objectives of the course are (i) to introduce the student to electrodynamics at a theoretically sophisticated level; (ii) develop problem solving skills; (iii) develop the techniques of mathematical physics to solve problems in E&M as well as other areas of physics.
  9. Academic Integrity Policies
    The University has a formal policy on Academic Integrity, included in the Code of Student Conduct. For PY785, the implications are straightforward: your work is your own unless collaboration is explicitly authorized (or required). With regard to to homework assignments I find it acceptable (indeed desirable) to collaborate with other students in solving the homework problems, but I expect you to write up the results on your own. Handing in copies of other student's work, or of material that is available on the internet is not acceptable.
  10. Students with Disabilities NC State University is committed to providing appropriate support and accommodation to students with documented disabilities. It is, however, the student's responsibility to contact the Disability Services Office (DSO; Student Health Center; 515-7653; who provide a range of services and can coordinate contact with faculty to request appropriate accommodations. The student must present documentation from DSO to a faculty member in whose class accommodations are requested. All this is normal and well-understood by faculty in Physics, where reasonable accommodations are routinely arranged.

Handouts: [Bessel expansions (nb), (nb.pdf)] [Delta fct contribution to dipole field] [Mean field model of a ferromagnet] [Boundary problem for magnetic shielding]

News: Midterm 1 (September 19) will be proctored by Dr. Lee.
Class on Wednesday, September 21, is cancelled.
Note that there is homework due on September 23.
Due date for HW7 changed to October 14.
No class on October 12.
Class on November 4 will be taught by Dr. Lee.

Questions? Send email to thomas_schaefer(at)ncsu_edu