phy5epa advanced electrodynamics




Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject, students explore advanced electrodynamics theory and applications. The concept and theory related to electrodynamics are developed in a rigorous manner using vector analysis. Topics include electrostatics, magnetostatics, electromagnetic field in medium, Maxwell's equation, electromagnetic waves, and electromagnetic radiation. This subject is available to postgraduate students as part of a group of electives which deepen their knowledge of physics and introduce research-related skills.

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorAndrew McDonald

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be admitted in one of the following courses: SMNT or SZHSN or PSMSC or SZHSMN


Incompatible subjects PHY3EPP

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsIntroduction to Electrodynamics (4th ed.)PrescribedGriffiths, D. J., 2013Pearson
ReadingsClassical Electrodynamics (3rd ed.)RecommendedJackson, J. D., 1998Wiley
ReadingsIntroduction to Plasma Physics and Controlled FusionRecommendedChen, F. F., 1984Plenum Press

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Analyse critically, reflect on and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories related to advanced electrodynamics.

Problem-solving techniques are modelled in lectures and workshops and partial solutions to selected problems derived in tutorials. Students are assigned a set of conceptual and mathematical problems to solve in the form of four assignments. Some assignment problems may require the use of standard computational software to be solved numerically.

02. Analyse, generate and transmit solutions to complex problems in the field of electrodynamics.

Problem solving techniques are modeled in lectures and tutorials. Students will use these techniques to solve problems in electrodynamics requiring sophisticated application of the techniques.

03. Analyse critically on a research problem related to electrodynamics and apply applicable theories and methods to address the research problem.

Students are provided with a research problem related to the theory and/or application of electrodynamics, and are expected to address it analytically and/or numerically. The background, conceptual framework, approach and results are summarized in a written report.

04. Use standard technical software to implement computational solutions to problems too complex for analytical mathematical solutions.

Computational skills will be further extended during workshops by students writing an extended program in Matlab to model and thus solve a difficult problem in atomic physics or quantum optics. The program will include extensive in-line documentation as per standard professional programming practice.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2019, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorAndrew McDonald

Class requirements

TutorialWeek: 31 - 43
One 1.0 hours tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

LectureWeek: 31 - 43
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

WorkShopWeek: 32 - 43
Six 3.0 hours workshop per study period on weekdays during the day from week 32 to week 43 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
One 3-hour end of semester exam (3,000-words equivalent)5001, 02
Four individual written assignments (2,400-words, total)Solutions to short essay questions comprising both analytical and numerical (computational) solutions.4001, 02, 04
One written report on a research problem (1,000-words)1001, 02, 03, 04