Personal tools

PHY450H1Relativistic Electrodynamics

Course Title PHY450H1
Session winter
Year of Study 4th year
Time and Location 24L: TW1, room: MP134
12T: W1, room: WW120 and MP134
Course Homepage Link to Course Homepage

Michael  Luke


Official Description

The course illustrates, using classical electromagnetism, how symmetry principles and scaling arguments combine to determine the basic laws of physics. It is shown that the electromagnetic action (from which follow the equations of motion) is uniquely fixed by the principles of special relativity, gauge invariance, and locality. Additional topics include motion of relativistic particles in external electric and magnetic fields, radiation from point charges, and the breakdown of classical electromagnetism.



Prerequisite: PHY350H1
Co-requisite: n.a.
Exclusion: PHY353H1
Recommended preparation: n.a.
Textbook Required: (A) The Classical Theory of Fields by Landau and Lifshitz and (B) Introduction to Electrodynamics, 4th ed by D. Griffiths

Additional Notes

An introduction to relativistic electrodynamics.  Topics include:  special relativity, four-vectors and tensors, relativistic dynamics from the Principle of Stationary Action and Maxwell's equations in Lorentz covariant form.  Noether's theorem for fields and the energy-momentum tensor.  Fields of moving charges and electromagnetic radiation:  retarded potential, Lienard-Wiechert potentials, multipole expansion, radiation reaction.