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Introduction to Electricity and Magnetism

Semester 2

This is a pre-calculus course covering fundamental topics in Electricity and Magnetism.


Electricity and Magnetism (18 Lectures):

  • Electric field and potential:
    • Definition of point charge.
    • Coulomb’s law.
    • The electric field E.
    • Force on a charge q in electric field E.
    • Electric potential.
    • Charge q traversing electric potential ∆V.
    • Definition of the electron volt.
    • Electric potential energy.
    • Charge q in a conducting sphere.
    • Resulting E and V. 
  • Capacitors:
    • Q=CV.
    • Capacitance of the parallel plate capacitor and the electric field between charged plates.
    • Dielectrics.
    • Energy stored in a charged capacitor and energy density in terms of E.
    • Capacitors in series and parallel.
  • Ohm’s Law:
    • Resistors in series and parallel.
    • Emf, internal resistance and terminal potential difference of a battery. Kirchhoff’s laws and applications.
    • Electric power for DC and AC voltages.  
  • Magnetism:
    • Force on current-carrying wire in a magnetic field.
    • Definition of magnetic field B.
    • Force due to B on charge q moving with velocity v.
    • B due to a long straight current-carrying wire and a solenoid.
    • Force between current-carrying conductors.
    • Definition of the Coulomb and Ampere.
  • Electromagnetic Induction:
    • Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction.
    • Lenz’s law.
    • Motional emf.
    • The inductance L.
    • Energy stored in an inductor and energy density in terms of B.
    • Electric generators.  
  • Introduction to Electronics
    • Logic Gates and their truth tables.
    • P-type and n-type semiconductors.
    • Diodes.

One 2-hour theory examination paper                                                60%

Two 1-hour in-course tests (15% each)                                               30%

Laboratory work (average of 6 labs at 10% each)                              10%

Learning Objectives: 

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  •  Perform simple quantitative analyses of basic problems (with simple geometries) in electrostatics and electrodynamics. 
  •  Perform quantitative analyses of basic problems associated with the parallel plate capacitor. Determine the capacitance for a given geometry.
  •  Explain the action and use of dielectric materials in capacitors.
  •  Perform the reduction of simple capacitor networks using the concept of “the equivalent capacitor” for capacitors in series or in parallel. 
  •  Apply Ohm’s Law to solve simple electrical circuits. 
  •  Perform the reduction of simple resistor networks using the concept of “the equivalent resistor” for resistors in series or in parallel.
  • Use Kirchhoff’s laws to solve more complex electrical networks (with two or more Emf’s).    
  • Determine the force due to a magnetic field (B) an a charge q moving with velocity v.
  • Determine the force between current-carrying  conductors. 
  • Apply Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction to solving practical problems in electricity and magnetism.
  •  Perform and interpret the results of simple experiments and demonstrations of physical principles.  
CXC/CSEC Physics or GCE “O” Level Physics.

Required Textbook:

Cutnell, and Johnson; “Physics ”; 8th Edition, 2009. ISBN 978-0-470-22355-0

Internet Sources: 

        1.   An online suite of resources:

 2.   Self-assessment:

3.   Online lectures:

4.   Online tutorials:

Course Code: 
3 Credits
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