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2005/06 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS1090 Electromagnetism

10 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr H J Rose

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2005/06

Pre-requisite qualifications

A-Level Physics and Mathematics or equivalent

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

In this module, students are introduced to Electromagnetism as a central component of Physics, as one of the four fundamental forces of nature and an essential aspect of modern technology.We study the rules and principles of electromagnetism such as Coulomb's Law and Gauss' Law, which develops ideas about the electric field and relationships between field, electrical potential and energy. Magnetism and its relationship to electricity are explored by the study of the Biot-Savart and Ampere Law, and Faraday's and Lenz's Laws provide an understanding of the basis of applications of electromagnetism to modern technology.


By the end of the module you should be able to:
- explain the concept of electric and magnetic fields;
- find the electric field and potential around charge distributions through integration;
- find the magnetic field generated by current elements through integration;
- calculate the force on a moving charge in an electric and magnetic field;
- calculate the force on a current carrying conductor;
- apply the laws of Gauss, Ampere and Faraday to find fields for simple symmetric problems;
- find the energy stored in electric and magnetic fields using capacitance or self-inductance;
- calculate time variable currents in circuits containing resistors, capacitors and inductors.

Skills outcomes
Ability to apply mathematical models to solve problems in physics.Ability to apply mathematical models to solve problems in physics.


Electric Current: The flow of charge and the definition of resistance; energy and current in dc circuits.
Ohm's Law; resistors in series and parallel. Kirchoff's Law. Resistor/capacitor and resistor/inductor circuits. AC circuits with combinations of resistors, capacitors and inductors.
Electrostatics: Coulomb's Law and the electric field; Gauss's Law, flux and expressions for the electric field in simple cases. Electric potential, and the relationship between field and potential. Capacitors in series and parallel; dielectrics and the storage of electrical energy.
Magnetic Fields: Definition of magnetic field; fields and forces generated by a conductor; torque on a current loop. Electromagnetic fields and motion of charges in fields. Biot-Savart and Ampere's Laws; forces between currents.
Magnetic Induction: Faraday's Law and Lenz's Law; generators and alternators. Inductance and energy storage in inductors; resistor/inductor circuits. Self and mutual inductance.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Lectures: 22 x 1 hour;

Tutorials: 3 x 1 hour;

Problem-solving classes: 3 hours.

Private study

Reading and problem-solving: 72 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

3 x problem solving assessments;

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

1 x 2 hour written examination at the end of the semester: 85%;
Marked work from problem-solving classes: 15%.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 31/03/2006


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