[PDF] Electromagnetism Lecture Notes – University of Cambridge

The electromagnetism lecture notes is a book to provide an introduction to Electromagnetism for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. These are compiled by David Tong, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge. You can download the book from the link given in this article.

Electromagnetism Lecture Notes assume you are familiar with Newtonian mechanics and special relativity. The book also assume you have a knowledge of vector calculus.

Introduction to Electromagnetism

There are, to the best of our knowledge, four forces at play in the Universe.

  • At the very largest scales, those of planets or stars or galaxies — the force of gravity dominates.
  • At the very smallest distances, the two nuclear forces hold sway.
  • For everything in between, it is the force of electromagnetism that rules.

At the atomic scale, electromagnetism (admittedly in conjunction with some basic quantum effects) governs the interactions between atoms and molecules. It is the force that underlies the periodic table of elements, giving rise to all of chemistry and, through this, much of biology. It is the force that binds atoms together into solids and liquids.
And it is the force which is responsible for the incredible range of properties that different materials exhibit.

At the macroscopic scale, electromagnetism manifests itself in the familiar phenomena that give the force its name.

In the case of electricity, this means everything from rubbing a balloon on your head and sticking it on the wall, through to the fact that you can plug any appliance into the wall and be pretty confident that it will work.

For magnetism, this means everything from the shopping list stuck to your fridge door, through to trains in Japan which levitate above the rail. Harnessing these powers through the invention of the electric dynamo and motor has transformed the planet and our lives on it.

As if this wasn’t enough, there is much more to the force of electromagnetism for it is, quite literally, responsible for everything you’ve ever seen. It is the force that gives rise to light itself.

Rather remarkably, a full description of the force of electromagnetism is contained in four simple and elegant equations. These are known as the Maxwell equations.

There are few places in physics, or indeed in any other subject, where such a richly diverse set of phenomena flows from so little. The purpose of this electromagnetism lecture notes is to introduce the Maxwell equations and to extract some of the many stories they contain.

However, there is also a second theme that runs through this lecture notes on electromagnetism. The force of electromagnetism turns out to be a blueprint for all the other forces. There are various mathematical symmetries and structures lurking within the Maxwell equations, structures which Nature then repeats in other contexts.

Understanding the mathematical beauty of the equations will allow us to see some of the principles that underly the laws of physics, laying the groundwork for future study of the other forces.

Contents of Electromagnetism Lecture Notes

The contents of Electromagnetism Lecture Notes are given below,

  1. Introduction and Electrostatics:
    Introduction; Electrical Engineering Basics, Charge, Current and Conservation; Forces and Fields; Maxwell Equations; Gauss’ Law; Coulomb Law; Electrostatic Potential; Electrostatic Energy; Conductors.
  2. Magnetostatics: 
    Ampere’s Law; The Vector Potential; Magnetic Monopoles; Gauge Transformations; Biot-Savart Law; Magnetic Dipoles; Magnetic Forces; What is a Magnet?
  3. Electrodynamics: 
    Faraday’s Law of Induction; Inductance; Magnetostatic Energy; Resistance; Displacement Current; Light; Polarisation; Poynting Vector.
  4. Electromagnetism and Relativity:
    Review of Special Relativity; Indices; Continuity Equation; Magnetism and Relativity; Maxwell Equations in Covariant Form; Gauge Transformations in Covariant Form; Lorentz Force Law; Relativistic Motion of Particles in Background Fields.
  5. Electromagnetic Radiation:
    Retarded Potentials; Green’s functions for Helmholtz and Wave Equations; Dipole Radiation; Larmor Formula; Pulsars; Thomson Scattering and Rayleigh Scattering; Lienard-Wiechert Potentials; Bremsstrahlung, Cyclotron and Synchrotron Radiation.
  6. Electromagnetism in Matter:
    Polarisation; Electric Displacement; Bound Currents; Macroscopic Maxwell Equations; Reflection, Refraction and the Fresnel Equations; Dispersion; Atomic Polarisability; Kramers-Kronig Relation; Drude Model for Conductors; Plasma Oscillations; Screening, Debye-Huckel Model, Thomas Fermi Theory, Lindhard Theory, and Friedel Oscillations.


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Reference: University of Cambridge

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