PHYC30070 Electromagnetism

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module presents the field theory of electromagnetism. Gauss's Law, Ampere's Law, Biot-Savart's Law and Faraday's Law are examined, leading to Maxwell's Equations. The physical significance of these equations is emphasised. Solutions to Maxwell's Equations in the form of electromagnetic waves are presented. The behaviour of electromagnetic fields in vacuum, dielectric and magnetic media, conductors, and at the interface between different media is described. The source of electromagnetic radiation is identified. The relativistic formulation of the theory is discussed.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module the student should understand the physical significance of Maxwell's Equations. They should be able to manipulate and solve physical problems using these equations. They should be capable of deriving solutions to Maxwell's equations and interpreting these solutions physically. They should obtain insight into the fundamental physics that unifies the two forces of electricity and magnetism. They should appreciate the nature of light as an electromagnetic wave.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module will be delivered as 36 hours of lectures with 5 homework assignments, 5 problem classes, and a 2-hour final exam. The groundwork and theory of electromagnetism is discussed, starting from a phenomenological / experimental point of view, building up the fundamental laws and axioms, with applications and examples provided. Then the more fundamental view is adopted, in which the relativistic and lagrangian formulations are discussed and applied. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Homework Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Examination: Written examination 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Required book:
David J. Griffiths,
Introduction to Electrodynamics,
4th edition, 2017, Pearson
(Also available as eBook from the UCD library)
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Mon 10:00 - 10:50
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 23, 25, 29, 31, 33 Thurs 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 09:00 - 10:50