Physics and Astronomy
Analytical Physics IIA
Instructor: Piers Coleman
Administrator: Karin Rabe
|Electricity & Magnetism
We live in a wireless age, in which almost every activity in our lives - from our toothbrush to our cell phone - everything depends on our on our mastery of the forces of electricity and magnetism. Anyone hoping to prosper in the wireless world needs to know about the concepts and principles of electromagnetism that keep our world afloat.
In this course you will learn these concepts. You will learn that electromagnetism isn't just a nerdy paradise, but rather, its discovery, understanding and mastery was one of the crowning cultural and intellectual triumphs of the victorian era. We'll learn how an American revolutionary invented the concept of charge and tested his concept with experiments on lightning, how a young bookbinder in London came up with the extraordinary idea that space is not empty, but absolutely filled with seething, fluctuating lines of force - the electromagnetic field- and showed how to use these ideas to invent an electric motor, and how a young Scotsman embodied these principles in four simple and beautiful equations.
This will be a tough, yet I hope, rewarding course in which I shall expect you to think conceptually, in which I will ask you not just to accumulate a list of equations into which you plug numbers, but to spend the time to ponder and to think deeply about the new ideas that we going to discuss together. I look forward to having you in my class and will meet you all at the first class at the Physics Lecture Hall, Busch Campus, on Thursday, September 6th, 2007.