Electricity and Magnetism I (PHYS*2330)

Code and section: PHYS*2330*01

Term: Fall 2011

Instructor: Michael Massa


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
Mike Massa MacN 328 52625 massam@uoguelph.ca

Office Hours TBD

Teaching Assistants Office Email
Evan Rand MacN 406 erand@uoguelph.ca
Alex Laffoley MacN 406 alaffole@uoguelph.ca

Lectures and Tutorials


Day Time Location
Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00 am - 11:20 pm MACK 116


Day Time Location
Wednesdays 7:00 to 8:50 pm THRN 1307

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 (2310 or 2330) but not a tutorial in both. You will not have both a lab and tutorial in one course in the same week. The following table outlines the schedule for the semester. Tutorials are held in THRN 1307 for both courses, unless otherwise noted.

Course Materials

Required Material

  • 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 Exam 25%
Final examination 50%

Midterm test: Wednesday Oct. 26th, 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Location: THRN 1307
Final Examination: Saturday, Dec. 10th, 8:30 to 10:30 am. 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. call phone, MP3 player) are not permitted.

The assignments will be handed out in class and will be submitted in class by the due date and time clearly indicated on the assignment (see also the schedule below). There will be a penalty for late assignments and no assignments will be accepted after the posting of the solutions on the course webpage.

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 Lecture Material Laboratory/Totorial
0 Sept. 8 Introduction No tutorial
1 Sept. 12 – 16 Coulomb’s law, work done by electric force, electric potential energy No tutorial
2 Sept. 19 – 23 Electric potential energy, line integrals, gradients No tutorial
3 Sept. 26 – 30 Coordinate systems, electric field calculations (point charges) Tutorial (THRN 1307)
Assn #1 due
4 Oct. 3 – 7 Electric field calculations (charge distributions), electric potential, calculations No tutorial
5 Oct. 10 – 14 Relationship between electric field and electric potential, effect of electric field on charges Tutorial (THRN 1307)
Assn #2 due
6 Oct. 17 – 21 Electric dipoles, force and torque on dipoles in different fields No tutorial
7 Oct. 24 – 28 Flux, introduction to Gauss’s law (integral form) Midterm test (THRN 1307)
Wednesday Oct. 26, 7-9 pm
8 Oct. 31 – Nov. 4 Gauss’s law, applications No tutorial
9 Nov. 7 - 11 Divergence, curl Tutorial: Vector calculus activity
(THRN 1307)
Assn #3 due
10 Nov. 14 - 18 Laplace’s equation, Poisson’s equation, solving Laplace in 1D and 2D No Tutorial
11 Nov. 21 - 25 Capacitance, polarization Tutorial (THRN 1307)
Assn #4 due
12 Nov. 28 - Dec.1 Review No tutorial

* NOTE: 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 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, experiment reports, etc. The assignments are not group projects. It is important that you do not show your final written solutions, experiment reports, etc., to other students.


One of your best sources of help is your tutorial/lab instructor.

In addition, Mike is always happy to answer students' questions whenever he is in his office. Hours will be announced when he is almost certain to be in his office for consultation with students. Short questions can often be handled in the lecture room just before or after lectures. (Mike will try to refrain from referring to himself in the third person during consultation)

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.


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  • Filling in the feedback box on the University’s accessibility website available at www.uoguelph.ca/accessibility
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  • Visiting the HREO at 15 University Ave. East, between 8:45 am and 4:45 pm, Monday to Friday