Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject you will explore advanced electrodynamics theory and applications and solve research related problems. The concepts and theory related to electrodynamics and plasma physics will be developed in a rigorous manner using the mathematics of vector analysis. Topics that you will encounter include electrostatics,magnetostatics, electromagnetic fields in a medium, Maxwell's equations,electromagnetic waves, and electromagnetic radiation. This subject is availableto postgraduate students as part of a group of electives that deepen your 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 PSMSC or SZHSMN


Incompatible subjects PHY3EPP

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


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. Visualise and analyse conceptual and mathematical problems related to electrostatics, magnetostatics and behavior of dielectric materials, electrodynamics and plasma physics.

Students are assigned a set of challenging and conceptual mathematical problems to solve. Problem-solving techniques are presented in lectures and workshops. The problem solving strategies to assignment problems are derived in tutorials along with partial solutions to solve the problems in assignments and exams.

02. Structure and write solutions to problems, which draw on the theories of electrodynamics and plasma physics to concisely and professionally communicate important results.

Students will be shown conventional professional methods of presenting mathematical solutions to written problems accompanied by appropriate graphic visualization. Students apply these methods to the assignments and the exam.

03. Analyse and solve a research problem related to electrodynamics.

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. Students summarise the background, conceptual framework, approach and results 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 developed by students during workshops. Students apply these skills by a writing an extended program in Matlab to model and thus solve a difficult problem in electrodynamics..

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2020, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorAndrew McDonald

Class requirements

Tutorial Week: 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.

Lecture Week: 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.

WorkShop Week: 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 2-hour end of semester exam (2,000-words equivalent)40 01, 02
Five individual written assignments (2,500-words, total)Solutions to short essay questions comprising both analytical and numerical (computational) solutions.40 01, 02
One written report on a research problem (2,000-words)20 03, 04