Dr. Dan Boye, Spring 2012
Office: Dana 134
Phone: 894-2394    daboye@davidson.edu

Physics 350
Electricity and Magnetism

Text: Electromagnetism, Pollack and Stump, 1st ed, Addison-Wesley.

Prerequisites:  Physics 330 or consent of instructor.

Lecture: Tues/Thurs 8:15 AM -9:30 PM, Dana 153

Appointments: I am generally available from 9:00-5:00 M-F.  Communication with me by email is very reliable.  If my office light is on and I'm not there, check in the Dana basement (Room B36) or in the Physics Office.

Objectives:   This course will address the major topics in the very broad physics subfield of electricity and magnetism.  Topics will include electric fields and potentials, conductors, dielectrics, magnetostatics, induction, Maxwell’s equations and electromagnetism.  Attention will be given to proper mathematical treatment of these topics, including extensive use of vector calculus.  Whenever possible, connections will be made in lecture to applications in such areas as optics, quantum mechanics and atomic physics.

Attendance: You are expected to attend each class unless you have a legitimate reason for being absent.  In this case, please see me in advance (except in the case of illness).  You are also expected to attend all department seminars!

Assignments:  There will be regular assignments of problem sets taken from the textbook.  These assignments, and their solution keys, will be posted on the course web page.  I urge you to work together on the assignments as much as possible. However, each student’s work turned in for grading must be a product of that individual student’s understanding of the material; i.e., you may not copy work from another student, book, website, or other external resource. 

Grading:  Homework assignments and quizzes 40%, reviews 35%, final exam 25%. The two reviews will each be a combination of take-home and in-class, time-limited, closed-book tests.  The final will be a comprehensive, take-home, time-limited, closed-book examination taken during final exam week.


Week oF



Jan. 18 – Jan. 20

Introduction and vector calculus, vector operators

1 & 2

Jan. 23 – Jan. 27

Integral theorems, coordinate systems, electrostatics

2 & 3

Jan. 30 – Feb. 3

Electrostatics – fields and potentials


Feb. 6 – Feb. 10

Electrostatics – Gauss’s law, multipole expansion


Feb. 13 – Feb. 17

Electrostatics conductors


Feb. 20 – Feb. 24

Conductors, Laplace’s equation

4 & 5

Feb. 27 – Mar. 2

Laplace’s equation, Review #1

5 & 6

Mar. 5 – Mar. 9

Spring Break!  No classes


Mar. 12 – Mar. 16

Laplaces's equation, Dielectrics, capacitors


Mar. 19 – Mar. 23

Dielectrics, Magnetostatics

6 & 8

Mar. 26 – Mar. 30

Magnetostatics, magnetic forces– Ampere’s law


Apr. 2 – Apr. 6

Magnetostatics – magnetic dipole


Apr. 9 – Apr. 13

No class 4/9 (Easter Break)Magnetic fields in matter


Apr. 16 – Apr. 20

Review #2, Magnetic Induction

9 & 10

Apr. 23 – Apr. 27

Magnetic Induction


Apr. 30 – May 4

Maxwell and electromagnetism


May 7

Maxwell and electromagnetism


May 11-16



The above outline is a rough approximation of the schedule.  Adjustments may be necessary, but I will give ample advance notice before changes are made.