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.
- Recommended preparation
['Required: (A) The Classical Theory of Fields by Landau and Lifshitz and (B) Introduction to Electrodynamics, 4th ed by D. Griffiths']
- Breadth requirement
- Distribution requirement
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.
- course title
- year of study
- 4th year
- time and location
24L: LEC0101, LEC2001: WF12 12T: TUT0101: T12