PHY 1510F

Advanced Electromagnetism


Fall 2010

Monday, 1-3 (with the occasional Thursdays at 6-8 PM)

Room MP 408


Prof. Pekka K. Sinervo, F.R.S.C.

Department of Physics, MP 814A. Phone: (416) 978-5270
CIFAR, 180 Dundas Street, Suite 1400.  (416) 971-4884

Office Hours: Thursday 10-12, MP 814A

Teaching Assistant:  Snezana Prodan




The goal of the course is to cover Classical Electromagnetic Theory at a graduate level. Topics will include: electrostatics, boundary-value problems, Green’s functions and multipole expansions; magnetostatics; magnetic field of localized current distributions; Faraday’s law of induction; Maxwell’s equations, retarded potentials; Poynting’s theorem and conservation laws; plane waves and dispersion; fields from an oscillating dipole.




The textbook for the course is Jackson, J. D., Classical Electrodynamics, (New York: Wiley, 1999) 3rd edition. The book is available for purchase at the U of T Bookstore, both used and new.  The book is also on short-term loan at the Physics and Gerstein Libraries.




The course will meet for 2 hours of lecture and exercises per week. Students will be responsible for material covered in reading assignments as well as in class.   Monday lectures will be 1:10-3.  Thursday lectures will be 6:00-8:00 PM.  Please note that the lecture on Nov 4 will be from 5:00-7:00 PM.


Performance in the course will be evaluated on the basis of 4 problem sets (15% each, adding to 60% total of the final grade), and 1 final examination (40% of the final grade).   


The problem sets (15% each) will be distributed 1 week before they are due and will be collected at the beginning of class on October 4, November 4, November 15 and December 2.  Szezana Prodan is the grader for the course, and she can be contacted by email (sprodan at


The final exam (40%) will be open book. The date and location will be announced at a later date.





Enrolment in PHY 1510F entails agreement to the following rules concerning course policies:







Oct 4

First Problem Set due (at the beginning of class)

Oct 6

Last day to add course

Oct 11

No class, Thanksgiving holiday

Nov 4

Second Problem Set due (at the beginning of class)

Nov 3

Last day to drop course without academic penalty

Nov 15

Third Problem Set due (at the beginning of class)

Dec 2

Fourth Problem Set due (at the beginning of class)

Dec 2

Last class

TBA in December

Final Exam (Date and Place TBA)











Course Requirements

Lecture 1

Sep 20

Electrostatics: Poisson and Laplace equations

Jackson ch. 1


Lecture 2

Sep 27

Green’s Theorem - Boundary Value Problems I

Jackson ch. 1,2

PS 1 handed out, due 4 Oct

Lecture 3

Oct 18

Boundary Value Problems II – spherical coordinates

Jackson ch. 3


Lecture 4

Oct 21; 6-8 PM

Green function in sperhical haromics

Multipole expansion, dielectric media, polarizability

Jackson ch. 3,4

PS 2 handed out


Lecture 5

Nov 1

Dielectrics permittivity, magnetostatics, magnetic dipole moment

Jackson ch. 4,5


Lecture 6

Nov 4; 5:10-6:30 PM

Faraday’s Law


Jackson ch. 5

PS 2 due

Lecture 7

Nov 8

Maxwell’s equations; the wave equation; retarded potentials

Jackson ch. 6

PS 3 handed out

Lecture 8

Nov 11; 6-8 PM

Retarded potentials continued; Poynting’s theorem and Conservation Laws;

Jackson ch. 6,7


Lecture 9

Nov 15

Electromagnetic plane waves


Jackson ch. 6,7

PS 3 due

Lecture 10

Nov 18; 6-8 PM

Polarization, reflection and refraction of EM waves; frequency dispersion


Jackson ch. 7

PS 4 handed out

Lecture 11

Nov 29

Radiating systems, angular distribution of radiation, dipole approximation; Larmor’s formula

Jackson ch. 9


Lecture 12

Dec 2; 6-8 PM



PS 4 due


Problem Sets


Problem Set 1 -- Coulomb's Law and Green Function                   Problem Set 1 Solutions

Problem Set 2 -- Green functions and multipoles


Last Revised:  1 November 2010