Module code: PHY2065

Module Overview

The module reprises electrostatics (Gauss’ Law) and proceeds to introduce electromagnetic theory through a development of Maxwell’s Equations and concepts associated with the electric and magnetic polarisation of materials.

The module introduces electromagnetic wave theory and its applications to a range of traditional applications and problems as well as the use of Fourier processing for wave signal analysis.

Module provider

Mathematics & Physics

Module Leader

FLORESCU Marian (Maths & Phys)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 63

Lecture Hours: 33

Tutorial Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 33

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Electromagnetism and applications

Reprise of Gauss’ Law (first Maxwell equation) and capacitors leading to Dielectrics, Insulators & Conductors, Electric Polarisation P, Electric Displacement D, Dielectric permittivity, Electric Susceptibility, Dielectric Screening, Boundary conditions for D and E.

Electric current I and current density j, Charge continuity, Magnetic field B, Biot-Savart Law, Gauss' Law for magnetism (second Maxwell equation), Force between two conductors, The Amp, Lorentz force, Hall effect, Ampere's Law.

Electromagnetic Induction, Faraday’s Law (third Maxwell equation), Mutual and self inductance, Energy storage in B-field, Magnetic torque, Magnetic dipoles..

Diamagnets, Paramagnets, Ferromagnetics, Magnetisation M, Magnetic intensity H, Magnetic permeability, Magnetic susceptibility,

Magnetisation current, Magnetic circuits, Reluctance, Hysteresis, Permanent magnets, Boundary conditions for B and H,

Displacement current, fourth Maxwell equation, review of vector analysis.

Electromagnetic Waves and Applications:

The module investigates fundamental concepts in classical electrodynamics.

Combining Maxwell’s equations to investigate electromagnetic wave propagation in vacuum, in dielectric and conducting materials and the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces:

Electromagnetic Waves, Speed, Refractive index, Attenuation, Skin depth, Uniform Plane waves, Linear Polarisation, Energy density and Power of Waves, Waves at Boundaries - reflection & refraction.

Fresnel's equations, Brewster angle, Total Internal reflection. Transmission Lines

Processing signals images using Fourier analysis and manipulation of Fourier-transformed data.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Online (open book) quizzes 20
Coursework Computational Project 20
Examination End of Semester Examination - 2 hours 60

Alternative Assessment

Online (open book)  quizzes may be assessed with an alternative question set.  Computational coursework maybe assessed with an alternative computational project.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate subject knowledge and ability to apply subject knowledge to unseen problems in electromagnetism, electromagnetic waves and electromagnetic properties of materials.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Online (open-book) quizzes.

  • A computational project assessed through a technical report on applications of Fourier transform to signal and image analysis

  • A final examination of  2h duration, with two sections: section A contains compulsory questions worth 20 marks and section B contains three questions of 20 marks each of which the students attempt two.

Formative assessment

  • Problem sets on electromagnetism and electromagnetic waves are provided weekly together with model answers to these questions, which allow the students to test their understanding of course material.

Verbal feedback covering lecture material and problem sets is provided at hour-long weekly tutorial sessions throughout the semester. Model solutions for the questions on the problem sets provide students with feedback on their problem-solving ability. The online multiple-choice quizzes provide model solutions for the questions answered incorrectly. For the coursework, a brief progress report and completion plan will be discussed 2 weeks before the submission deadline, each followed by in-class feedback.

Module aims

  • The module aims to present a comprehensive coverage of fundamental topics of electromagnetism, electromagnetic waves and the electromagnetic properties of materials, including a review of electrostatics and magnetostatics and detailed studies of the propagation of electromagnetic waves. It does this through the development of relevant electromagnetism theory in lectures and through the presentation of traditional applications and problems in lectures and tutorial sessions. The module aims to provide further practice in the use of the mathematical tools of vector calculus and partial differential equations learnt in PHY2064.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental importance of electromagnetism to many other fields of physics KC
002 Describe the basic concepts and principles of electromagnetic theory; K
003 Set up systems of equations to describe standard problems and systems using of electromagnetism and electromagnetic waves; KC
004 Demonstrate competence in the analytical and numerical solution of these equations for modeling these standard problems PT
005 Apply the method of Fourier analysis to process electromagnetic waves. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: 

  • equip students with subject knowledge.

  • develop skills in applying subject knowledge to physical situations.

  • enable students to tackle unseen problems in electrostatics, magnetostatics,  electrodynamics and electromagnetic wave phenomena.

The learning and teaching methods adopt a  hybrid approach in which each week typically includes: 

  • video lectures split up into the week's topics.

  • weekly extended lecture notes to aid students to develop a solid understanding of the concepts presented in the video lectures.

  • weekly brief notes to aid students to monitor the progress.

  • a weekly tutorial worksheet to provide practice in applying the concepts presented in the lectures.

  • face-to-face lecture reviewing material covered in video lectures.

  • face-to-face tutorial class that reviews worksheet questions

Lectures and Tutorial classes.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PHY2065

Other information

The School of Mathematics and Physics is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

  • Digital Capabilities: Throughout the module students will engage with complex electromagnetic phenomena and they will be provided with some optional opportunities to develop their computational skills in analyzing these phenomena using MATLAB computational languages.
  • Sustainability: Modern technology and devices have the capability to consume significant energy resources, and the course will expose students to some of the ways in which these problems may occur in electromagnetism. Technology can also be a major part of the solution, and students will be given understanding of the principles and design of optical fibers, waveguides and transmission lines. 
  • Employability: The module introduces learners to a wide range of physical phenomena and theoretical techniques explored by  professional  scientists  in  both  industrial   and  academic settings.  The module, therefore, represents a key opportunity to practise and develop problem solving skills.
  • Resourcefulness and Resilience: Problem solving is a key component of this module with students given the opportunity to tackle more involved problems in Physics. Students  are  introduced  to  problem  solving  both during the tutorial sessions and in the assessed coursework. This helps deliver a key aim of the module, which is to show how the problem solving techniques developed here can be applied to a wide range of physics phenomena and real-world examples.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Physics with Astronomy BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Physics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Physics with Nuclear Astrophysics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mathematics and Physics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Physics with Nuclear Astrophysics MPhys 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Physics with Astronomy MPhys 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Physics MPhys 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Physics with Quantum Computing MPhys 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mathematics and Physics MPhys 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mathematics and Physics MMath 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.