Electricity and Magnetism I (PHYS*2330)

Code and section: PHYS*2330*01

Term: Fall 2010

Instructor: Joanne O'Meara


Course Information

The Purpose of this Course

The principal aim of this course is to continue building the foundation of classical physics that students need in their progress toward the frontier of modern physics research. The second aim of this course is to strengthen the problem-solving skills of students, which will be invaluable regardless of their future career path. Topics include vector calculus, electric fields, potential, electric work and energy, Gauss's Law, Poisson's and Laplace's equations, capacitors, D.C. circuits and dielectric materials.


Lecturer Office Extension Email
Joanne O’Meara MacN 323 53987 omeara@uoguelph.ca

Office hours

Mondays and Wednesdays - 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
If you wish to obtain help from Joanne at another time, please see her before or after lectures to arrange a mutually convenient time. Short questions can often be handled in the lecture room just before or after lectures.

Teaching Assistants Email
Alex Laffoley alaffole@uoguelph.ca
James Wong jwong01@uoguelph.ca

Lectures and Tutorials


Day Time Location
Tuesday, Thursday 11:30 am to 12:50 pm CRSC 116


Day Time Location
Thursdays (every other week) 7:00 to 8:50 pm MacK 029

The roughly bi-weekly tutorials are co-ordinated with those in PHYS*2310 (Mechanics I). If you are registered in both courses, in a given week you will have a tutorial in one of the two courses (2330 or 2310), but not a tutorial in both. The following table outlines the schedule for the semester. Tutorials are held in MacK 029 for both courses.

Course Materials

Required Materials

  • Introduction to Electrodynamics, 3rd Edition, D. J. Griffiths, Prentice- Hall, 1999

Highly Recommended

  • University Physics (12th edition) by H.D. Young and R. A. Freedman – your text from PHYS*1000/1010


Assessment Weight
Participation 6%
Assignments 19%
Midterm test 25%
Final examination 50%

The assignments will be handed out in class and will be submitted in class by the due date and time clearly marked on the assignment. There will be a penalty for late assignments, and no assignments will be accepted after the posting of the solutions on the Courselink.

Midterm test: Thursday Oct 28th, 2010, 7 to 9 pm, MacK 029

Final Examination: December 15th, 2010, 7 to 9 pm, location – TBA.

Both the midterm and the final examination will be closed book. You will be provided with an equation sheet. Calculators may be required. Only non-programmable pocket calculators will be permitted. Personal communication or entertainment devices (e.g. cell phone, MP3 player) are notpermitted.

If you miss the midterm examination due to illness or compassionate reasons, you need to provide the instructor with a waiver slip. See your Program Counsellor if you require assistance. If you miss the final examination, see your Program Counsellor. Please refer to “General Information for Academic Consideration and Appeals” in the 2010/11 Undergraduate Calendar.

Schedule for the Semester

Week Date Material Covered in Lecture Tutorial
1 Sept 6 – 10 Introduction No
2 Sept 13 – 17 Coulomb’s law, work done by electric force, electric potential energy No
3 Sept 20 – 24 Electric potential energy, line integrals, gradients No
4 Sept 27 – Oct 1 Coordinate systems, electric field calculations (point charges) Tutorial (MacK 029)
Assn #1 due
5 Oct 4 – 8 Electric field calculations (charge distributions), electric potential, calculations No
6 Oct 11 – 15 Relationship between electric field and electric potential, effect of electric field on charges Tutorial (MacK 029)
Assn #2 due
7 Oct 18 – 22 Electric dipoles, force and torque on dipoles in different fields No
8 Oct 25 – 29 flux, introduction to Gauss’s law (integral form) Midterm Exam (MacK 029)
Thurs. Oct 28, 7 – 9 pm
9 Nov 1 – 5 Gauss’s law, applications No
10 Nov 8 – 12 divergence, curl Tutorial: Vector Calculus activity
(MacK 029)
Assn #3 due
11 Nov 15 – 19 Laplace’s equation, Poisson’s equation, solving Laplace in 1D and 2D No
12 Nov 22 – 26 capacitance, polarization Tutorial (MacK 029)
Assn #4 due
13 Nov 29 – Dec 3 Review No

The information in the table above is provided as a rough guide in terms of the schedule of material covered during the term. Regular attendance at lectures and tutorials is the best way to ensure that you are up to date on the relevant course material. The indicated weeks in which assignments will be due are also tentative. Assignments will be posted on the course website, along with the associated due dates, as well as handed out in class. Check Courselink regularly to be informed.

Course Policies

(Not) Working With Other Students

All work submitted for grading in this course must be each individual student's own work. While students are encouraged to share thoughts and ideas, it is not acceptable to share assignment solutions. The assignments are not group projects. It is suggested that you do not show your written solutions to other students.


One of your best sources of help is your tutorial instructor. In addition, the course instructor is happy to answer questions in her office (MacN 323) during
office hours: Mondays and Wednesdays - 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

If you wish to obtain help from Joanne at another time, please see her before or after lectures to arrange a mutually convenient time. Short questions can often be handled in the lecture room just before or after lectures.

Course Assessment

The Department of Physics requires student assessment of all courses taught by the Department. These assessments provide essential feedback to faculty on their teaching by identifying both strengths and possible areas of improvement. In addition, annual student assessment of teaching provides part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member's contribution in the area of teaching.

The Department's teaching evaluation questionnaire invites student response both through numerically quantifiable data and written student comments. In conformity with University of Guelph Faculty Policy, the Department Tenure and Promotions Committee only considers comments signed by students (choosing "I agree" in question 14). Your instructor will see all signed and unsigned comments after final grades are submitted. Written student comments may also be used in support of a nomination for internal and external teaching awards.

NOTE: No information will be passed on to the instructor until after the final grades have been submitted.


The University welcomes feedback on accessibility issues. You can provide feedback on
accessible service provision by:

  • emailing the Human Rights and Equity Office (HREO) at accessibility@uoguelph.ca
  • filling in the feedback box on the University’s accessibility website available at www.uoguelph.ca/accessibility
  • calling the HREO at extension 53000 (or TTY users can call 1-800-267-6511)
  • visiting the HREO at 15 University Ave. East, between 8:45 am and 4:45 pm, Monday to Friday