Physics 323, Spring Quarter 2015

Prof. Leslie J Rosenberg, Department of Physics, University of Washington

Course Instructor:
Prof. Leslie J Rosenberg
Office: Physics & Astronomy Building, room C503
Office Hours: Physics & Astronomy Building, C503, Tuesdays: 10:30am or by appointment; please email
Telephone: (206) 221-5856

Lead Tutorial Instructor:
Ryan Hazelton
Office: Physics & Astronomy Building, room C221

Physics 323, the third course in electrodynamics
Lectures are Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00-10:20 in the Physics & Astronomy Building (A-wing) A110
Textbook: Griffiths, "Introduction to Electrodynamics," fourth edition

Useful Links:

Recent course news:

Lecture Instructor's Comments

  • Welcome to Physics 323, the third of a three-quarter sequence of electrodynamics for advanced undergraduates. This third quarter is considerably more advanced than the first two quarters. The material on guided waves, radiation and the connection of special relativity and electrodynamics will take more thought and effort on your part than the first two quarters. The payoff is you'll begin to appreciate the great beauty of electrodynamics. I hope you find this course challenging and stimulating. The topic of electrodynamics is crucial for understanding the underpinnings of the physical and biological sciences. It's also crucial for modern technology. I hope that you also find it to be interesting and enjoyable. Have a great quarter! Regarding the course: We'll use Griffiths' text "Introduction to Electrodynamics". The lecture will include "special topics" (see the course schedule) that are covered in more detail or differently than the presentation in Griffiths. You might want more details, in which case you might want to look at Lorrain and Corson "Electromagnetic Fields and Waves" or "Fundamentals of Electromagnetic Phenomena". My personal favorites at this level are Panofsky and Phillips "Classical Electricity and Magnetism" and Slater and Frank "Electromagnetism"; both are, sadly, out of print (and out of style). The motivated student might want to peek at the graduate-level text Jackson "Classical Electrodynamics". And the lovers of pain might want to try the problems in Smythe "Static and Dynamic Electricity." There's no perfect text, and every text has gems scattered throughout. This third quarter material is where different authors' viewpoints may be enlightening. That said, for many of the topics we will follow the text by Griffiths.

    Syllabus The syllabus for 323 is given in the links above.

    Grading 25% of your grade is assigned to each of homework, mid-term exam, final exam, tutorial ("quiz section")***.

    Important dates
    May 5 mid-term Exam.
    June 10 Final.

  • The course design is a cooperative effort of many faculty, each of whom is deeply concerned with providing the most effective learning experience for every student. Each element of the course (lecture [called "quiz section"] and tutorial) is useful to your mastery of physics. Don't be shy about seeing the Professor or tutorial instructor outside of class during the quarter; it will pay off for you in many ways as the years go by.
  • Memorization of material is not particularly helpful in this class. Your goal in this class should be to understand how each new topic is related to all of the previous material, and how the concepts, rules and formulae can be applied to solve real-world problems. Never let anything go by if you do not understand. Generally, ask questions immediately. If it is inconvenient to interrupt, make a quick note to yourself and inquire later.
  • General Comments

    The Physics Study Center

    Students are encouraged to gather and work cooperatively in small groups in the Physics Study Center located in room AM018 of the Physics & Astronomy building. (To reach the Physics Study Center, go down the stairs that circle behind the Foucault pendulum and proceed toward the end of the hall). Teaching assistants will be available for consultation during many portions of the day if your study group needs assistance, but staffing levels will not support much individual attention. The Study Center is staffed from approximately 9:30am to 4:30pm on weekdays.