Electricity and Magnetism I (PHYS*2330)

Code and section: PHYS*2330*01

Term: Fall 2014

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.

Required Materials: Introduction to Electrodynamics, 4th Edition, D. J. Griffiths, Prentice-Hall, 2013. This text will also be used in the following semester for PHYS*2340 E&M II.

It will also be necessary to regularly consult your first year physics text.


Lecturer Office Extension Email
Mike Massa MacN 328 52625 massam@uoguelph.ca

Office Hours: TBA

Teaching Assistant Office Email
John Malcolm MacN 402 malcolmj@uoguelph.ca

Lectures and Tutorials


Day Time Location
Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00 am - 11:20 pm MACK 121


Day Time Location
Wed. 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 (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 MACK 029 for both courses, unless otherwise noted.


Assessment Weight
Participation 6%
Assignments 19%
Midterm Exam 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 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 Counselor if you require assistance. If you miss the final examination, see your Program Counselor. Please refer to “General Information for Academic Consideration and Appeals” in the 2013/14 Undergraduate Calendar.

Midterm test: Will take place in week 7 of the term (Oct. 20-24). Details will be discussed in opening class.
Final Examination: Friday, Dec. 5th, 11:30 to 1:30 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. call phone, MP3 player) are not permitted.

Schedule for the Semester

Week Lecture Material Laboratory\Tutorial
0 (Sept. 4,5) Introduction No tutorial
1 (Sept. 8 – 12) Coulomb’s law, work done by electric force, electric potential energy No tutorial
2 (Sept. 15 – 19) Electric potential energy, line integrals, gradients No tutorial
3 (Sept. 22 – 26) Coordinate systems, electric field calculations (point charges) Tutorial (MACK 029)
Assn #1 due
4 (Sept. 29 – Oct. 3) Electric field calculations (charge distributions), electric potential, calculations No tutorial
5 (Oct. 6 – 10) Relationship between electric field and electric potential, effect of electric field on charges Tutorial (MACK 029)
Assn #2 due
6 (Oct. 13 – 17) Electric dipoles, force and torque on dipoles in different fields No tutorial
7 (Oct. 20 – 24) Flux, introduction to Gauss’s law (integral form) Midterm test (TBA)
8 (Oct. 27 – 31) Gauss’s law, applications No tutorial
9 (Nov. 3 - 7) Divergence, curl Tutorial (MACK 029)
Assn #3 due
10 (Nov. 10 - 14) Laplace’s equation, Poisson’s equation, solving Laplace in 1D and 2D No tutorial
11 (Nov. 17 - 21) Capacitance, polarization Tutorial (MACK 029)
Assn #4 due
12 (Nov. 24 - 28) 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


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)

(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.

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 or by choosing "I agree" in question 14 (online process). 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 of Guelph is committed to creating a barrier-free environment. Providing services for students is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and administrators. This relationship is based on respect of individual rights, the dignity of the individual and the University community's shared commitment to an open and supportive learning environment. Students requiring service or accommodation, whether due to an identified, ongoing disability or a short-term disability should contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities (soon to be re-named Student Accessibility Services) as soon as possible.

For more information, contact CSD at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email csd@uoguelph.ca or refer to the CSD website. The standard statements are available on the AVPA website (undergraduate courses) or from the Office of Graduate Studies (Graduate Courses).