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PH20061: Electromagnetism 1 [WL]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2015/6
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 85%, PR 15%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 85%)
  • Practical (PR 15%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: PH20061 - Mandatory Extra Work (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must take PH10051 AND take PH10053 AND take PH20019
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aims of this unit are to develop a vectorial description of electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields in infinite materials and at boundaries between materials, to derive some individual solutions and to make use of them in a few important applications. A further aim is to provide an introduction to the operation of lasers.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* derive and interpret Maxwell's equations and their solution in vacuum;
* list the distinguishing features of electromagnetic plane waves and write down a mathematical expression for a linearly or circularly polarised light wave;
* analyse in detail the propagation of vectorial plane waves in vacuum and in various materials;
* describe the origins of polarisation and magnetisation in materials;
* match electric and magnetic fields at boundaries between materials and explain the origins of Brewster's angle and total internal reflection;
* describe how lasing action is obtained and maintained and outline the main properties of laser light;
* conduct short experiments on various topics, record details of experimental method and results to an appropriate standard, and write a scientific report displaying an appropriate standard of presentation, style, structure, attention to detail and analysis.

Written Communication T/F A, Numeracy T/F A, Data Acquisition, Handling, and Analysis T/F A, Information Technology T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A, Working as part of a group T/F, Practical laboratory skills T/F A.

Introduction to Maxwell's equations (7 hours): Derivation of integral and differential forms of Maxwell's equations and continuity equation. The wave equation in source-free vacuum. Plane wave solutions.
Electromagnetic plane waves (3 hours): 3D plane waves, vector nature of electromagnetic waves; relationships between E, B and k. Impedance. Electromagnetic energy and the Poynting vector. Radiation pressure. Polarisation; Law of Malus, circular and elliptical polarisation. Birefringence, wave plates.
Maxwell's equations in infinite materials (6 hours): Concepts of linearity, isotropy and homogeneity. Characterisation of materials in terms of macroscopic parameters. Dipoles, susceptibility and polarisation / magnetisation. The modified wave equation; solution in conductors, dielectrics, lossy media and plasmas.
Boundaries between media (4 hours): The general electromagnetic boundary conditions. Plane waves at a planar boundary, general angle of incidence (Fresnel equations). Total internal reflection and evanescent waves. Coefficients of transmission and reflection. Brewster and critical angles.
Lasers (2 hours): Interaction between light and matter. The Einstein relations. Obtaining and maintaining lasing action. Cavity modes. The properties of laser light.
Laboratory: Performance of experiments designed further to develop practical skills and support lecture material.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH20061 is Optional on the following programmes:

Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences with Study year abroad (Year 2)
Department of Physics
  • USXX-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 2)
  • USXX-AAB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USXX-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • USXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 2)
  • USXX-AAM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USXX-AKM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 2)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2015/16 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2016/17 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2015/16.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.