Welcome to Physics 321 Autumn 2018

Electricity and Magnetism (E & M) Tu Th 8:30-9:50

Prof. Gerald A. Miller miller@uw.edu B484, The head TA is Bert Xue, bertx@uw.edu)

Class email phys321a_au18@uw.edu

Office Hours Wednesday 1:00-2:00, or by appointment. /


Text book- Griffiths (G), Introduction to Electrodynamics, 4th edition. The general goal is to provide you with the mathematical tools and physics experience that will enable you to use E & M to uncover the mysteries of Nature, to solve practical problems, to do well on exams, and eventually to use during your ultimate gainful employment.

The approximate syllabus: Electrostatics, boundary values problems, electric fields in matter and magnetostatics. This roughly the material covered in Chapters 2-5 of Griffiths. Knowledge of the mathematics discussed in Chapt.~1 is a prerequisite, but occasional brief reviews of the necessary background mathematics, will be provided. Chapt.~1 be covered in Tutorial.

Goals of course: The student should gain understanding of electrostatics, be able to obtain for electric fields for various configurations of charges and boundary conditions. The student should gain an understanding of electric fields in dielectric media. Heavy emphasis will be placed on problem solving, and mathematical methods learned in previous math and physics courses will be employed. Successful completion of the course should result in a student gaining a professional ability to solve a wide variety of technical problems involving partial differential equations. We shall also discuss some modern physics topics within the context of E & M.

Course Structure

The time in class will be used mainly for lectures. From time to time we will do "Physics is Not a Spectator Sport" which means that you will be working out examples or parts of lectures yourself. It is very important that you participate.

Tutorials are an important part of this course. The tutorial website is https://phys.washington.edu/tutorials-introductory-physics

Readings are from Griffiths

Approximate Sept. 27 -Chapter 1, Electric field, Coulomb Law 2.1

Approximate Oct. 2, 4. Gauss Law 2.2 Electrostatic potential 2.3

Approximate Oct 9,11 Static work, Conductors 2.4,2.5

Approximate Oct 16, 18 Laplace equation 3.1 , Method of images 3.2

Approximate Oct. 23 Exam

Oct 25 Separation of variables I 3.3

Oct. 30, Nov. 1 Separation of variables II 3.3 Multipole expansions I 3.4

Nov. 6,8 Polarization 4.1, Fields of a polarized object 4.2

Nov. 13 Displacement 4.3

Nov. 15 Exam

Nov. 20 Linear Dielectrics 4.4

Nov. 27, 29 Lorentz force law 5.1

Dec 4,6 Biot-Savart 5.2

Dec 11 Final Exam


Homework (HW) will be assigned every week or so, generally due in class on Thursday. This is to be worked out completely. A portion of the HW will be graded. Late HW will not be accepted. Doing the assigned problems is probably the most important ingredient in learning the material, and your scores on these represent 20 % of the grade. You may, and should discuss the HW problems with fellow students, but the solutions must be your own. It is necessary to hand in the homework on time in class on the due date. This is because solutions will be posted soon after class. The use of Mathematica, or other electronic tools, to solve homework problems is generally encouraged, and some HW sets may require the use of such tools. If you use Mathematica or Matlab, your notebook must be provided along with the HW. Each individual homework problem is worth 10 points. You may and should discuss the homework with your fellow students, but the solutions you turn in must be your own. There will be two midterms, each representing 20 % of the grade. The final exam represents 20 % of the grade. Tutorial work is 20% of the grade. Exams are closed book and closed notes, but open minds. A page of notes may be provided as part of the exam to reduce memorization. No Mathematica etc. on exams.

  • A previous midterm unsolved.

    This year's midterm solved questions 1-3

    This year's midterm solved question 4

  • Last year's 2nd midterm solved.

  • This year's 2nd midterm solved Q1-3.
  • This year's 2nd midterm solved. Q4 .
  • Grade distributions for the first two midterms.
  • 2016 3rd midterm solved.this test does not have magnetism,this year’s text will have magnetism.
  • 2017 3rd midterm solved.this test does not have magnetism,this year’s text will have magnetism.
  • This year's 3rd midterm solved Q1-3.
  • This year's 3rd midterm solved. Q4 .

    Scheduling issues:

    Holidays Nov 12, Nov 22,23. Midterm Exams Tuesday Oct. 23,8:30 Thurs Nov. 15, 8:30

    Midterm Tuesday Oct. 23, 3 Lecture questions based on first 3 HW sets (mainly first two). Closed book, notes. No electronics. You will need to know basic expressions for E, V, Gauss Law, simple integrals

    Final exam: Tuesday Dec. 11, 10:30:12:20,

  • HW1 due Oct. 4

  • Hw1 solution

  • HW2 due Oct. 11 in class

  • Hw2 solution
  • HW3 due Oct 18
  • HW3 solution
  • HW4 due Nov. 1
  • HW4 solution

  • HW5 due Nov. 8
  • HW5 solution

  • HW6 due Nov. 29
  • HW6 solution
  • HW7 due Dec 6
  • HW7 solution. There is a mistake in the solutions on part b) of question number 4. The answer differs by the correct value by a factor of 2,caused by an error in integrating sin^3(theta). This makes the answers to part c and d be off by a factor of 2 as well.