Electromagnetics 2

Module aims

    • To further explore the behaviour of static and dynamic electric and magnetic fields from a physical optics perspective. To introduce simple electromagnetic wave motion.
    • To get an overview of the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, and the applications of different frequencies, especially in the Biomedical field.
    • To understand how electromagnetic waves behave at material boundaries, and the mechanism of their propagation along waveguides and optical fibres.
    • To get an overview of the significance of special relativity to electromagnetic effects.
    • To understand how waves diffrac

Learning outcomes

 Learning Outcomes - Knowledge and Understanding

  • explain the relevance of EM spectrum in Biomedical context
  • state Maxwell's equations and explain dispacement current
  • an overview of the relevance of special relativity to EM
  • describe vector fields in simple geometries
  • interpret div and curl in the context of EM fields
  • explain the boundary conditions between conductors and insulators
  • explain the mechanism of EM plane wave propagation and surface waves
  • describe polarization phenomena
  • describe diffraction effects through apertures in far field

Learning Outcomes - Intellectual Skills

  • determine boundary continuity relations
  • solve Laplace's equation for static fields and simple boundary conditions
  • solve the wave equation for conducting wall waveguides
  • solve problems in optical waveguide transmission and dispersion
Learning Outcomes - Practical Skills
  • To be able easily to measure the separation between tracks on a compact disc.
Learning Outcomes - Transferable Skills
  • Further insight into vector calculus operators - div, grad, curl, Laplacian

Module syllabus

Electromagnetic Waves: Differential forms; for electrostatics, the divergence of an electrostatic field; Laplace’s and Poisson’s equations; for magnetostatics; the curl of a vector field. Continuity of charge and concept of displacement current. Maxwell’s equations in differential form. Special relativity as significant to EM. The Helmholtz equation; plane waves, phase velocity, polarization, impedance, power flow, Poynting’s theorem. Boundary conditions; reflection and refraction of plane waves from conductors and dielectrics at plane and oblique incidence, total reflection, Brewster angle. Waveguides; conducting boundaries; dielectric waveguides; optical fibres.

Physical Optics :Spherical Waves, Huygens Principle, Diffraction, Diffraction from a rectangular aperture,


BE1-HVAW Vibrations and Waves, BE1-HEM1 Electromagnetics 1 Vector calculus - div grad curl, Solution of 2nd order PDEs by separation of variables

Teaching methods

Lectures: 18 hours
Study groups: 9 hours


●  Written exam: ; 80% weighting
    Rubrics: 2 hour exam. Answer all four questions (100 marks each).
    No type of previous exam answers or solutions will be available

Feedback : Feedback on Valentine's Day problem within two weeks of submission

Reading list


Module leaders

Mr Martin Holloway