Welcome to PHYS 4392. The behavior of electric charges, whether static or in motion, leads to an extraordinary array of fascinating phenomena from lightning to light waves to magnetism, whether on earth or in astrophysical settings. Electrodynamics is marvelous! Our primary goal is to understand Maxwell's equations. A serious student completing PHYS 4392 will garner a substantial understanding of electromagnetism, which is responsible for much of the phenomena we experience on a daily basis. Along with classical mechanics and quantum mechanics, electrodynamics is at the core of our most sophisticated understanding of the physical universe.
Understanding occurs through sustained and intelligent effort. There is simply no substitute for doing. Watching is fine for the movies but not for learning how to "do physics." Correspondingly, I will ask you to do a large volume of work and to invest a substantial chunk of time in this course. It is important that you seek help from me if you do not understand something after giving it a decent mental effort. Do not suffer in silence. I am here to help. You cannot ask too many questions.
Graded homework will typically be issued weekly. I encourage you to work together on the problems since discussion aids comprehension and you can learn much from your fellow students. However, the final write-up must be your own work. Submitted homework assignments that are suspiciously similar or seem a mere copy of internet posted solutions will annoy me. I will act on my annoyance, undoubtedly to the detriment of the offender(s).
Your final grade will be based on a weighted sum of your performance
on weekly homework and in-class tests. All tests are closed
book. Individual assignments do not receive a letter
grade. The more points you accrue, the greater your likelihood of
earning an "A."