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Relativistic Electrodynamics

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.

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

Additional information

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: TWF12, room: OI2212, In Person LEC9101: TWF12, On Line Synchronous 12T: TBA At this time, the University has not made a final decision about course delivery for the Winter 2021 term. The Faculty of Arts & Science will be updating Winter term course delivery information based on public health guidelines.

Delivery Methods

In Person

A course is considered In Person if it requires attendance at a specific location and time for some or all course activities.*.

* Subject to adjustments imposed by public health requirements for physical distancing.

Online - Synchronous
A course is considered Online Synchronous if online attendance is expected at a specific time for some or all course activities, and attendance at a specific location is not expected for any activities or exams.
A course is considered Asynchronous if it has no requirement for attendance at a specific time or location for any activities or exams.