Physics 51 — Electromagnetic Theory and Optics

An introduction to electromagnetism and optics. Maxwell’s equations are discussed in differential and integral form. Maxwell’s equations are then used to develop an introduction to the field of optics. Beyond the presentation of Maxwell’s equations, selected topics include Gauss’s and Stokes’s theorems, the wave equation including the Poynting vector, electromagnetic energy, basic circuits, diffraction, Snell’s law, interference, and the physical origin of the index of refraction. Applications include fusion, circuit elements, motors, diffraction gratings and thin films. Each week there are two 50-minute lectures as well as two 50-minute recitation sections. In the recitation sections material is reviewed, homework is discussed, and small groups work at the blackboard on new problems.

Prerequisites: Physics 23 and Physics 24

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    Meetings, Spring 2017