Course: Electromagnetism I

Code: PHYS 4068 

Number of Credits: 3 

Prerequisites: MATH 3152, PHYS 3171-3172 

Instructor: J. Ponce de León

Office: Natural Sciences II, C-321


Class period:Tuesday and Thursday, 11:30-12:50, room C-312

Office hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 14:30-16:30 or by appointment 


This is the first part of theone year course in Electromagnetism for Physics majors, which covers electrostatics and magnetostatics: Electrostatic potential, divergence and curl of electric fields, electric potential; Conductors,boundary value problems and techniques for calculating potentials; Dipole and multipole expansion of the electric potential, the electrostatics of dielectric materials; Electric current, Ohm's law, continuity equation; Magnetic fields, the Lorentz force law, theBiot-Savart and Ampere's laws; The differential equations of magnetostatics, the vector potential,boundary value problems; Magnetized media, the susceptibility and permeability, nonlinear media and hysteresis. 


After completing this course the student will understand the basic concepts and fundamental principles of electrostatics, magnetostatics, and the interaction of currents and fields and will be able to apply these to actual physical situations and setup the corresponding mathematical problem. The student will also have practiced and mastered the application of mathematical techniques to solve such problems. 

 Course Content 



Assigned time (hours) 

1. A review of concepts in vector algebra and vector calculus. 


2. The Divergence theorem, the Green's theorem, and the Stokes's theorem. 


3. The Coulomb's Law and the concept of electric field. 


4. Calculation of electric fields for simple charge distributions. 


5. Divergence and curl of the electric field, the electrostatic potential. 


6. Conductors, insulators and Gauss's Law. The electric Dipole and multipole expansion of the electric potential. 


7. The Laplace and Poisson's equations. 


8. Boundary value problems and the techniques for calculating potentials. Simple ideas about electrostatic images. 


9. Capacitance, electrostatics in dielectric materials. Electrostatic energy. 


10. Electric current and the current density. Continuity equation, Ohm's Law and electric power. 


11. Concept of the magnetic induction field, Lorentz force, theBiot-Savart and Ampere's Laws. 


12. The magnetic scalar potential (magnetostatics) and the magnetic vector potential. 


13. Magnetic properties of materials. 


14. Magnetized matter, magnetic susceptibility, permeability, and hysteresis. 


15. Electromagnetic induction. The Faraday and Lenz's laws. Self and mutualinductances, magnetic energy. 


Total hours 

45 contact hours 



Instructional Strategy 

The main instructional tool in this class is lecturing. The students are trained to apply the concepts of electrostatics and magnetostatics to simple physical situations and setting up the problem mathematically, which is then solved using standard and elementary mathematical methods. A fair part of the lecturing effort is thus dedicated to the demonstration of solution of problems in electricity and magnetism. Homework assignments allow the students to use the relevant physics concepts as also practice problem solving techniques discussed in class. Solutions of homework problems are subsequently discussed in class, where the students are encouraged to present their work. 



Introduction to Electrodynamics (4th Edition),by David J. Griffiths,Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 4 edition (October 6, 2012).  

Rights of Students with Disabilities 

The University of Puerto Rico complies with all federal and state laws and regulations regarding discrimination, including “The American Disabilities Act” (ADA law) and Law 51 of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  Students that receive services from the Vocational Rehabilitation Office should communicate with the professor at the beginning of the semester to discuss any academic accommodation and equipment he (she) needs in accordance to the recommendations from the Office ofDisablepersons affairs (OAPI) from the Student Dean Office.  Other students that need assistance or accommodations should communicate with the professor.