Subject 640-383 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Three 1-hour lectures per week. These include 6 tutorial classes. Total 36 hours.
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours total time commitment.

One of

  • 640-225 (prior to 2009)
  • 640-245 (prior to 2009)

Plus one of

  • Vector Calculus (620-231 Vector Analysis prior to 2009)
  • 620-233 (prior to 2009)

Plus one of

  • Mathematical Methods
  • 620-234 (prior to 2009)
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: 640-323 (prior to 2009), 640-343 (prior to 2009)
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Assoc Prof Ann Roberts
Subject Overview:

This subject provides an introduction to electrodynamics and looks at a wide range of applications including optical fibres, superconductors, plasmas and astrophysics. Electrodynamics in vacuo is described in terms of both fields and potentials; relativistic covariance; electrodynamics in material media: dielectric, magnetic, conducting; calculation of fields, boundary value problems: motion of particles in electromagnetic fields; production, propagation, and interaction of electromagnetic waves; radiation from accelerated charges; and Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulation of particle motion in a field and of the field itself.


Students completing this subject should be able to:

  • explain classical electrodynamics based on Maxwell's equations including its formulation in covariant form;
  • solve problems involving the calculation of fields, the motion of charged particles and the production of electromagnetic waves; and
  • analyse the solution of these problems in the context of a range of applications.

Tests totalling up to 2 hours and assignments totalling up to an equivalent of 3000 words during the semester (20%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (80%).

Prescribed Texts:

D J Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics, 3rd edition, John Wiley

Recommended Texts: J D Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics, 3rd edition, Academic Press.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

A student who completes this subject should be able to:

  • explain their understanding of physics principles and applications lucidly, both in writing and orally;
  • participate as an effective member of a group in tutorial discussions;
  • think independently and analytically, and direct his or her own learning;
  • manage time effectively in order to be prepared for regular practical and tutorial classes, tests, the examination and to complete assignments
Notes: Students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 BSc), BASc or a combined BSc course will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.

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