Summer 2003

SCIE 650
The Physics of Electricity and Magnetism


06/23/2003 - 08/05/2003
Tuesday & Thursday 09:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Science Tower 121

One of the major branches of physics, electricity and magnetism is the study of charged particles, their motions, forces, and fields. Studying this field is crucial to a technically and conceptually deep understanding of physics because all of modern physics is built on the combined foundation of electricity and magnetism and Newtonian mechanics.

Studying basic laws, from Coulomb's law of force between charges, to Gauss's law of electric flux, to Ohm's law of currents in circuits, to Snell's law of refraction, to Einstein's theory of the invariance of the speed of light, we will employ a combination of conceptual and mathematical analyses and classroom demonstrations to reveal the basic relationships underlying electromagnetic phenomena. To show the effects of massive charge concentration, we will use the Van de Graaff generator; to establish a relationship between moving charge and magnetism we will bend a beam of electrons with a magnetic field; to deepen our understanding of electromagnetic waves (and, incidentally, quantum mechanics), we will observe an interference pattern; and we will levitate a magnet to illustrate the interaction of magnetic fields and superconducting materials. Additionally, we will study the related topics of optics and special relativity.

Students should have knowledge of mathematics through trigonometry. Students will be expected to do regular problem-solving assignments, two exams will be given, and a project will be required, either a written report or a physical demonstration.

Mark Shapiro (B.A. Trinity College; M.A. Columbia University) is visiting instructor of physics.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:

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