This class was tough.
For a physics major, studying electromagnetism is absolutely essential. This course serves as an introduction to a more rigorous look at the theory of electromagnetism. I would highly recommend this course because it allowed me to look at and grasp some very difficult high level concepts, while also keeping me from feeling overwhelmed. In addition to the theory, it helped me develop a better understanding of mathematics tools that are absolutely essential to a physics student. It was a great bridge course and fits the intermediate classification well, despite the focus being on such a difficult and wide reaching subject.
This course focused mainly on the four Maxwell equations and the mathematical connections and tools needed to thoroughly understand them. This involved ideas in vector calculus, partial differential equations, expansions of functions, and asymptotic behavior of functions. In addition, it included pieces of optics as well as the interactions of electromagnetic radiation with materials. This includes ideas of polarization and magnetization as well as a light introduction to non-linear optics. However, the core idea was Maxwell's equations in all of their different forms and relationships.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
In short, you need determination. This course in daunting in difficulty of both homework and exams. However, you also need the ability to discern between working hard and working smart. Time alone will not be enough to devote, and if time alone is all you devote you will quickly reach a burn out point. The most helpful thing that I found was taking advantage of my professors office hours. I went in and talked with him about the homework and exams. This often shaved a few very valuable hours off of my time spent towards this course.