Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Electricity and Magnetism
Academic Year
Semester 2
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Coursework: 2 Examples sheets  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written examination  70%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Written examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Discuss the concepts underpinning the physical laws in electricity and magnetism.
2. Recall, demonstrate an understanding and apply Maxwell's equations from the empirical laws of electromagnetism.
3. Explain the effects of matter on electric and magnetic fields and the boundary conditions for such fields.
4. Identify and use vector calculus and other mathematical techniques to analyse and express scenarios in electricity and magnetism.
5. Solve examples in electricity and magnetism and interpret the results in the physical context.

Brief description

The module considers the physical laws in electricity and magnetism. One part focuses on electricity and includes electrostatics and dielectrics with the other part covering magnetic fields, magnetic material and electromagnetic induction. Electromagnetic boundary conditions which apply at the interface between two simple media are discussed. The physical laws are expressed in terms of the differential operators of vector calculus and collectively presented as Maxwell's equations.


This module deepens the student's understanding of the empirical laws of electromagnetism. These are expressed in terms of the vector calculus notation introduced earlier in PM26020(FG26020). Problem solving skills are developed where the student is expected to identify and use relevant methods to solve broadly-defined examples in electricity and magnetism. It is a core module for physics degree schemes and provides a background in electricity and magnetism required for modules at higher levels.


- grad, div, curl.
- divergence theorem, Stokes' theorem.
- vector identities.

- electric charge and field.
- Gauss' law.
- electrostatic energy, potential.
- capacitors, dielectrics, polarisation, electric displacement, Gauss' law for electric displacement.
- boundary conditions for D and E.
- Poisson's equation.
- electrostatic calculations.

- Lorentz force.
- magnetic dipole.
- Ampere's law, Biot-Savart law, magnetic vector potential.
- magnetisation, magnetic intensity.
- boundary conditions for B and H.
- magnetic hysteresis.

- Faraday's law, Lenz's law.
- inductance.
- magnetic energy.

- equation of continuity.
- displacement current.
- Maxwell's equations and plane electromagnetic wave solution.
- Poynting vector.
- polarisation of waves, behaviour at plane interfaces.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Questions set in examples sheets and formal exams have numerical problems.
Communication Students are expected to submit written solutions to examples sheets.
Improving own Learning and Performance Examples sheets and feedback are designed to encourage self-directed learning and improve performance.
Information Technology Students are expected to research topics within the module via the internet.
Personal Development and Career planning The module covers core physics topics, essential for the academic portfolio of a student planning to work in the field.
Problem solving Problem solving skills are developed throughout this module and tested in examples sheets and in the written examination.
Research skills Directed reading will allow students to explore the background to the lecture module. Students will also be set problems which will entail research in the library and over the internet.
Subject Specific Skills Electricity and Magnetism are core topics in Physics.


This module is at CQFW Level 5