Classical Electrodynamics (PHY8132 – Graduate course)

PHY8132 students in 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last four lectures were online

Motivation of the course

Formulation of the electromagnetism theory is an essential key to our understanding of nature, such as classical optics, microwaves and electric circuits. Both electric and magnetic forces were discovered millennia ago prior to being formulated by Coulomb and Bio-Savart. However, Maxwell showed that electric and magnetic fields are both generated and altered by each other. This revolutionary discovery led to a novel and unique branch of physics, named electrodynamics. In this course, we review several important concepts in the Classical Electrodynamics, among the others, such as Green’s functions, boundary-value problems, multipoles expansions, electrostatic of macroscopic media, magnetostatics, time-varying fields, Maxwell’s equations and gauge transformations, and covariant formulation of classical electromagnetism.

Main textbook

The course will be based on Classical Electrodynamics (3rd Edition) by John David Jackson (who is a Canadian–American physicist born in London-Ontario). Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 11 of the book will be covered in the winter semester.

Class meeting time

The lectures will be held each Tuesday from 14:30 to 17:30 in DMS 3105. There will be a short break at 16:00 (about 10 minutes) halfway through the lecture.


The course grade will be determined based on (1) assignments and activities during lectures (20%), (2) midterm examination (30%), and (3) final examination (50%).

Letter grades submitted to Faculty:

90-100 85-89.99 80-84.99 75-79.99 70-74.99 66-69.99 60-64.99 55-59.99 50-54.99 40-49.99  0-39.99
A+ A A B+ B C+ C D+ D E F


There is a midterm exam for this course, which will be taken at 14:30-17:20 of the Wednesday, February 26th. Students are allowed to use the book, but no lecture notes and cheat sheet for all exams associated with this course. The midterm with a lower score will be worth 10% of the course grade.

  • Midterm (26th of February 2020) [SOLUTION].
  • Final Exam  [SOLUTION].


There will 8 bi-weekly assignments, which will be available below in a PDF format (the link will be activated two weeks before the deadline). The completed assignments will have to be sent to the email address ( by 18:00 of the date specified below. Each assignment is comprised of 4 to 7 problems of equal value, which the total point value for all assignments will be announced and converted to 20 % at the end.

  • Homework -1 (deadline 24th of January 2020) [HWI].
  • Homework -2 (deadline 7th of February 2020) [HWII]. 
  • Homework -3 (deadline 22nd of March 2020) [HWIII].
  • Homework -4 (deadline 10th of April 2020) [HWIV].
  • Homework -5 (deadline 13th of April 2020) [HWV].

Lecture notes

The course notes will be available a week after each lecture and can be downloaded via the following links:

  • Lecture -1 [NOTEI].
  • Lecture -2 [NOTEII]. 
  • Lecture -3 [NOTEIII].
  • Lecture -4 [NOTEIV].
  • Lecture -5 [NOTEV].
  • Lecture -6 [NOTEVI].
  • Lecture -7 [NOTEVII].
  • Lecture -8 [NOTEVIII].

Important notes

Academic Fraud

What is academic fraud?

Academic fraud is defined as “any act by a student that may result in a distorted academic evaluation of that student or of another student.” Academic fraud occurs if you do any of the following:

  • Plagiarize (copy) or cheat in any way (for more information on plagiarism and how you can avoid it, see the academic fraud section in the student guides).
  • Submit work you have not completely written yourself (with the exception of quotations and references). This can include an assignment, an essay, a test, an exam, a research report or a thesis, whether you present your work in writing, orally or in another form.
  • Present research data that has been falsified or made up in any way.
  • Attribute a statement of fact or reference to a made-up source.
  • Submit the same work or a large part of the same work in more than one course, or a thesis or other work that has been presented elsewhere without the prior approval of the appropriate professors or academic units.
  • Falsify or misrepresent an academic evaluation, using a forged or altered supporting document or facilitating the use of such a document.
  • Undertake any other action for the purpose of falsifying an academic evaluation.

Missed Midterm

The only valid reasons for missing the midterms are:

  1. Sickness confirmed by the note from a physician(s). The note has to be dated on the date of the test or before it, and has to clearly indicate that student was sick on the date of the test.
  2. Serious injury and/or hospitalization – the note from the hospital will be needed.
  3. Representing university as an athlete, scholar or researcher.

If you missed the midterm examination(s), please contact me as soon as you are back in school. I would prefer to see you in person – visit me with the original doctor’s note at my office ARC463 (during office hours or by appointment).

  1. I will need to have Xerox-copy of the doctor’s note, stapled to the brief letter explaining your situation.
  2. Your name, student number, date of the test etc. should be stated clearly in your letter.
  3. I will decide on the form of the supplementary evaluation after all of the students who missed the test have contacted me.

Your make-up midterm test will happen at the end of the semester-last week of classes.

It is student’s responsibility to attend supplementary midterm:
I will announce the time date and place during the lecture within last week of classes as well as on the class website.