Electromagnetic Fields

Module code: PA2240

Module co-ordinator: Professor Tim Yeoman

Maxwell’s equations describe a unified theory of the electric and magnetic fields. In this module you will build on what you have studied in year 1 to deepen your understanding of the meaning and application of Maxwell’s equations.

We will study how Maxwell’s equations demonstrate the existence of electromagnetic waves, and explore the characteristics of these waves in a vacuum, in dielectric media and in conductors. You will learn about electromagnetic energy density and energy flux. Finally you will apply what you have learned to the problem of electromagnetic waves at boundaries.

Topics covered

  • Polarisation, magnetisation, vector fields
  • Integral and differential forms of Maxwell’s equations
  • Electromagnetic waves
  • Electromagnetic energy and Poynting’s theorem


  • 24 hours of lectures
  • 3 hours of seminars
  • 8 hours of practicals/workshops


  • Coursework (30%)
  • Exam (70%)