PHYS 435 :: Physics Illinois :: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Welcome to Physics 435 in the age of pandemics!  We will work in a thoughtful and compassionate way. The stress due to the current situation is real and its effects should not cause harm to any of you.  Class starts at 10am on Wednesday January 19, 2022.  We will start by holding the first two class sessions online to permit COVID testing by everyone to be done.  Starting on Monday January 24 we will meet in Loomis Laboratory of Physics (LLP) 144.

This is the first semester of a year long course in Classical Electromagnetic Field Theory.  Field theories in general are very exciting and powerful tools.  Classical EM field theory is the example that we will thoroughly explore.  What we cover here will be useful in virtually all areas of physics research.

We will begin with a review of the important results from the introductory course, Physics 212, and some important and nontrivial results from vector calculus.  Keep an eye on your email for the reading assignment for lecture 1.  In the course of reviewing results from 212, we will develop the differential form of Maxwell's Equations.  This is far more powerful than the integral form that was developed in 212, since the differential equations provide a way to solve for the electric and magnetic fields given any geometry, set of sources, and time dependence. Our textbook is Introduction to Electrodynamics by David Griffiths.  I will refer to reading sections in the 4th edition.  You can get this in hardcover or softcover versions, and I believe the section numbers are the same in both formats even though the pagination is not.  Editions 2 and 3 are also available, but the organization of topics into sections may be different in the different editions.


We will use iClickers in this course




Grading of the course will count 2 midterm exams, the final exam, classroom participation, discussion section participation and the homework assignments.

Please review the grading scheme on the course grading page.

Academic Integrity

All activities in this course, including documentation submitted for petition for an excused absence, are subject to the Academic Integrity rules as described in Article 1, Part 4, Academic Integrity, of the Student Code.  The current plan is to have Exams carried out using the campus honor code which is spelled out in the rules noted above.  This may change so keep an eye on this page for updates to that.


Syllabus Statements

Anti-Racism and Inclusivity Statement

The Grainger College of Engineering is committed to the creation of an anti-racist, inclusive community that welcomes diversity along a number of dimensions, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity and national origins, gender and gender identity, sexuality, disability status, class, age, or religious beliefs. The College recognizes that we are learning together in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, that Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous voices and contributions have largely either been excluded from, or not recognized in, science and engineering, and that both overt racism and micro-aggressions threaten the well-being of our students and our university community.

The effectiveness of this course is dependent upon each of us to create a safe and encouraging learning environment that allows for the open exchange of ideas while also ensuring equitable opportunities and respect for all of us. Everyone is expected to help establish and maintain an environment where students, staff, and faculty can contribute without fear of personal ridicule, or intolerant or offensive language. If you witness or experience racism, discrimination, micro-aggressions, or other offensive behavior, you are encouraged to bring this to the attention of the course director if you feel comfortable. You can also report these behaviors to the Bias Assessment and Response Team (BART) ( Based on your report, BART members will follow up and reach out to students to make sure they have the support they need to be healthy and safe. If the reported behavior also violates university policy, staff in the Office for Student Conflict Resolution may respond as well and will take appropriate action.

Emergency Response Recommendations

Emergency response recommendations can be found at the following website:  I encourage you to review this website and the campus building floor plans website within the first 10 days of class.

Statements relevant to all courses offered in Spring 2021


Sexual Misconduct Reporting Obligation

The University of Illinois is committed to combating sexual misconduct. Faculty and staff members are required to report any instances of sexual misconduct to the University Title IX Office. In turn, an individual with the Title IX Office will provide information about rights and options, including accommodations, support services, the campus disciplinary process, and law enforcement options.

A list of the designated University employees who, as counselors, confidential advisors, and medical professionals, do not have this reporting responsibility and can maintain confidentiality, can be found here:

Other information about resources and reporting is available here:

Academic Integrity

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Student Code should also be considered as a part of this syllabus. Students should pay particular attention to Article 1, Part 4: Academic Integrity. Read the Code at the following URL:

Academic dishonesty may result in a failing grade. Every student is expected to review and abide by the Academic Integrity Policy: Ignorance is not an excuse for any academic dishonesty. It is your responsibility to read this policy to avoid any misunderstanding. Do not hesitate to ask the instructor(s) if you are ever in doubt about what constitutes plagiarism, cheating, or any other breach of academic integrity.

Religious Observances
Illinois law requires the University to reasonably accommodate its students' religious beliefs, observances, and practices in regard to admissions, class attendance, and the scheduling of examinations and work requirements. You should examine this syllabus at the beginning of the semester for potential conflicts between course deadlines and any of your religious observances. If a conflict exists, you should notify your instructor of the conflict and follow the procedure at to request appropriate accommodations. This should be done in the first two weeks of classes.

Disability-Related Accommodations
To obtain disability-related academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids, students with disabilities must contact the course instructor and the Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) as soon as possible. To contact DRES, you may visit 1207 S. Oak St., Champaign, call 333-4603, e-mail or go to  If you are concerned you have a disability-related condition that is impacting your academic progress, there are academic screening appointments available that can help diagnosis a previously undiagnosed disability. You may access these by visiting the DRES website and selecting "Request an Academic Screening" at the bottom of the page.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Any student who has suppressed their directory information pursuant to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) should self-identify to the instructor to ensure protection of the privacy of their attendance in this course. See for more information on FERPA.