This course is all about *light*, viewed as a consequence of the same
principles that bring us the Maxwell equations. We’ll discuss electromagnetic wave
propagation; the generation of electromagnetic radiation by time dependent charges,
currents, and fields; the interaction of radiation and linear media; diffraction and the
foundation of physical optics; and the relation of electrodynamics and the special theory
of relativity.

**Professor**:
Dan Watson (B&L 418, 275-8576, dmw@pas.rochester.edu,
www.pas.rochester.edu/~dmw).

**Grader**:
Kyoung Hee Kim (B&L 373, 275-4001, khkim@pas.rochester.edu)

**Textbooks**: David J.
Griffiths, *Introduction to electrodynamics*, third edition (1999) is the only
required text. Also recommended are Francis S. Crawford, *Waves: Berkeley physics
course v.3 *(1968); Edward M. Purcell, *Electricity and magnetism: Berkeley physics
course v.2*, second edition (1985); Eugene Hecht, *Optics, *fourth edition
(2002). All of these books are on two-hour reserve in the Physics-Optics-Astronomy
library. Additional, useful, books will be found on the Reading List.

**World
Wide Web site**: www.pas.rochester.edu/~dmw/phy218/.
In these pages one will find complete lecture presentations, a calendar of class meetings
and office hours, homework-problem solutions, exam solutions, practice examinations, study
aids, links to other useful Web sites, and even a copy of this document.

**Lectures**:
In B&L 270, 11:00-11:50 AM, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, conducted by Dan. All
students are expected to attend all of the lectures. Complete electronic copies of each
lecture presentation can be found on our Web site, about a week before the lecture is
given, and can be downloaded and printed in a format that’s handy for taking
additional lecture notes.

**Recitations**: In B&L 270,
2:00-3:15 PM, on Fridays following new homework assignments, conducted by Dan. All
students are expected to attend all of the recitations. These classes will usually operate
as workshops, in which the students will work in small teams (3-4 students each) to set up
and/or solve practice problems similar to those on the homework and exams. They are
scheduled strategically on Friday afternoons; in Dan's experience, most students do most
of the work on their problem sets over the weekend.

**E-mail
list server**: phy218@mail.rochester.edu.
Messages sent to this address will be re-sent to everybody in the class. Obviously this
provides a good way to make general announcements. Dan also encourages use of the list
server to ask questions about readings, lectures, homework problems and the like; the rest
of the class will probably also be interested in your questions and the answers
you’ll receive. (He will answer e-mail questions privately, too.)

**Homework**: Eight problem sets,
assigned at regular intervals during the term. Each problem set counts equally toward the
final grade. Normally, detailed solutions to the problem sets will be posted directly
following the lecture they are due, which will make it difficult to accept late homework.

About
two-thirds of every homework assignment will be designated as *solo* problems, and
the rest as *team* problems. For the solo problems, students are expected to work
independently, but the team problems are to be worked out by groups of 3-4 students
working together. Each student is meant to submit solutions of all of the problems, but of
course the solutions of the team problems would be essentially identical to those of the
other team members. The problems chosen for the team homework usually will be the most
difficult ones in the assignment. At least at first, the teams will be those formed rather
arbitrarily during the first recitation. We will take care to rotate the membership of the
teams as the semester progresses. Dan will be the official arbiter of homework-team
membership.

**Examinations**: One midterm
exam, covering most of electrostatics, will be given on 27 February 2004 during the time
and in the place normally scheduled for recitation. A final examination, covering the
whole course, but with emphasis on the latter parts, will be given on Thursday, 6 May
2004, 8:30-11:30 AM, in our lecture room. Detailed solutions will be posted at the
conclusion of each exam. If you miss an exam due to illness or emergency, a makeup
exam may be scheduled by appointment. ** All makeups will be oral examination**s,
lasting as long as the exams they replace, and will be administered and graded by Dan.

To each exam you are allowed to bring only
a writing instrument, a calculator, and one letter-size sheet on which *you* have
written as many notes, formulas, and physical constants as you like. No computers, or
graphing calculators into which text and graphics may be downloaded, are allowed.

The best way to study for the examinations is to do the homework problems, to work out the sample exams that are available (with solutions) in our World Wide Web pages, and to make a good cheat sheet to bring to the exam.

**Grades:** Based 32% on the
homework and 68% on the examinations. The midterm is worth 30%, and the final exam 38%, of
the final grade, with each problem set counting for 4%. In terms of the percentage of the
maximum possible score, the grading scale will be as follows:

Percentage score |
> 85 |
> 80 |
> 75 |
> 70 |
> 65 |
> 60 |
> 55 |
> 50 |
> 40 |
< 40 |

Final grade |
A |
A- |
B+ |
B |
B- |
C+ |
C |
C- |
D |
E |

Last time Dan taught this course, in Spring 1991 (!), 21 students took it, and they received an average percentage score of 73.4, for an average grade of B. We round up to integers before assigning the final grade.

**Academic
honesty disclaimer:** For our purposes, *cheating*
consists of submission of solo-homework or exam solutions that are not one’s own
work, or submission of such work under someone else’s name. According to University
rules, any detected act of cheating that is not the result of a simple misunderstanding
must be handed over to the Board on Academic Honesty for investigation.

**Help:** Office hours are posted
on the Calendar page of the PHY 218 Web site. Dan can also be found most afternoons in or
near his office or lab, upstairs from the classroom. Please come and talk to him whenever
you want. Or email him, privately or through the list server. He will be happy enough to
deal with specific questions about the course, homework or exams, but would be even more
interested in talking to those who find the course confusing enough that they're not even
sure what to ask.