Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Introduction to Electricity and Magnetism
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
PH10410, Not available to students on 3 year BSc (Hons) or 4 year MPhys schemes
GCSE Mathematics and Science, or equivalent
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Professor Pete Vukusic (Professor - Exeter University)

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   written end of semester examination  70%
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment - Tests in weeks 6 and 11  30%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   written examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Calculate the force on a charged particle in electric and magnetic fields with the particle stationary or in motion.
2. Calculate the electric field of a system of charged particles.
3. Calculate the potential of a system of charged particles.
4. Be able to use the right hand rules to determine the induced current for a simple system.
5. Carry out calculations for simple DC circuits involving capacitors, resistors, inductors and batteries using Kirchhoff's rules and other methods.
6. Carry out calculations for simple AC circuits.

Brief description

The concept of electric charge is introduced and electric force, field and potential are explained in terms of Coulomb's Law with illustrative examples. The flow of charge is considered and this leads to Ohm's Law and the concept of resistance. Capacitors and resistors are examined and examples are given of their use in electric circuits. A brief introduction to magnetism is given


Electric Charge:

Positive and negative charge.
Conductors, insulators and semiconductors.
Coulomb's Law.
Electric field, potential and equipotentials.
Force on and motion of charged particle in a uniform electric field.
Charge and discharge of capacitors, time constant and half life decay.
Capacitors - construction, series and parallel combinations, stored energy.

DC Electricity:

Current and resistance;resistance, Ohm's Law, resistivity, ammeters, voltmeters.
DC circuits - resistors in series and parallel, internal resistance, energy, power.
Kirchhoff's rules.

AC Electricity:

AC currents in resistive, capacitive and inductive circuits; reactance and impedence.
Analysis of AC circuits using phasor diagrams, vector methods and complex numbers.
Power and phase angle.


Force on Particle, Solenoid, Faraday's law and Lenz's law


This module is at CQFW Level 3