• Offered by Physics Education Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Physics
  • Areas of interest Photonics, Physics

The course will be taught in flipped classroom mode with content on line, one tutorial per week and one compulsory three hour workshop per week. Content will focus on concepts, solutions practical application of Maxwell's time dependent equations of eletrodynamics to topical areas such as classical optics and atom optics. Content will also include the relativistic formulation of Maxwell's equations and application of the relativistic formulation of Maxwell's equations. This course is a prerequisite for PHYS3057 and PHYS3070. This course is one of the 3rd year
options for the physics major, and is recommended for those intending to do honours in Physics.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Have an advanced understanding of Maxwell's equations and have gained practical experience in solving.
    Maxwell's equations using analytic and numerical techniques.
  2. Understand the wave solutions of electromagnetism and their relevance to optics including propagation of electromagnetic waves in materials, birefringence, boundary conditions at material interfaces and reflection and transmission of waves at interfaces, polarisation, spatial phase, coherence, Fourier theory and spatial filtering, Maxwell stress tensor and mechanical forces exerted by electromagnetic waves, radiation from time dependent charge distributions.
  3. Covariant (relativistic formulation) of electrodynamics including four vectors, the electromagnetic field tensor, Lagrangians and fields, gauge transformations and symmetries.
  4. Application of the covariant formulation of electricity and magnetism to brehmstrahlung and related effects
  5. Explain the purpose and advantages of writing physical laws in tensor form.
  6. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills and be able to research and explain scientific concepts.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:
  • Assignments 20% (LO 1-4)
  • Mid term Exam 30% (LO 1-5)
  • Final Exam 30% (LO 1-5)
  • Report 20% (LO 1-6)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The course will be taught in flipped classroom (blended) mode:
1 hour of tutorial per week.
3 hours of mandatory workshop per week.
2 hours of on-line content and background reading per week.
4 hours of work on assignments per week.
Total 10 hours per week effort should earn an average student an average grade in this course.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have previously completed PHYS2201 and PHYS2016.

Prescribed Texts

Introduction to electrodynamics 4th edition, David J Griffiths, Prentice Hall, SBN-10: 9332550441.
Classical electrodynamics, 3rd edition, J. D. Jackson, Wiley, ISBN-10: 8126510943.

Preliminary Reading

Part 1 (first 8 chapters) of Introduction to electrodynamics 4th edition, David J Griffiths, Prentice Hall, SBN-10: 9332550441.

Assumed Knowledge

Multi variable calculus.
Ordinary and partial differential equations and the solution of boundary value problems
Vector calculus including gradient, divergence and curl, Stoke's theorem and the divergence



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4232 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 In Person View

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions