An intermediate course in the application of basic principles of classical physics to a wide variety of subjects. Roughly half of the year will be devoted to mechanics, and half to electromagnetism. Topics include Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of mechanics, small oscillations and normal modes, boundaryvalue problems, multipole expansions, and various applications of electromagnetic theory.Ph106bc covers electrodynamics at a level of sophistication beyond the introductory Ph1bc sequence. You will see much material that is familiar to you, but we will take a more rigorous approach, analyze more challenging physical situations, and also consider many topics not seen in Ph1bc. It is impossible to emphasize how important the core physics courses Ph106 and Ph125 are: these teach you the basic frameworks and techniques that you must know to do any physics.
Below you will find the outline of the E&M portion of Ph106bc. I will update the details of the topics covered in lectures, suggested reading, problem sets, and solutions as the term progresses. Assignments will be available on the website about a week before the due date. Note that they are listed in the week they are due, rather than the week they are assigned. The schedule for the lectures and assignments may change as the term progresses.
The problem sets and solutions are only accessible to computers with a Caltech IP address (either direct or by VPN). (Lecture notes are available to anyone.) Please let me know if you are enrolled in the class and this causes problems for you, and we can make other arrangements.
Targets for the links below will not be present until they are needed. If you find a broken link, try refreshing your browser first. If the target is still not present, email me.
Keep a copy of the lecture notes and problem sets handy on your computer or a USB stick. Websites go down occasionally (seemingly especially during holidays), and a very modest bit of foresight can prevent this from disrupting the problem set due date schedule. If there is a problem set update, or a lecture notes update relevant to a problem set, at a very late date and there is an outage (in the 24 hrs before a set is due), this policy will be suspended. We are looking into setting up a secure mirror website for the future.
In the suggested reading, G stands for Introduction to Electrodynamics by Griffiths, LN for Lecture Notes, HM stands for Classical Electromagnetism by Heald and Marion, and J for Classical Elecrodynamics by Jackson. Reading given in parentheses is optional (intended only to tell you where I am drawing material from).
Week  Tuesday Lecture  Thursday Lecture  Homework (E&M due Friday 7 pm) 




Mechanics Midterm due 




Assignment 5 Solutions (TA: Yongliang) 




Assignment 6 Solutions (TA: Sizheng) 




Assignment 7 Solutions (TA: Alex) 




Assignment 8 Solutions (TA: Alex) 



N/A 
Final exam
cover page only Final exam including cover page (first page is instructions) Solutions Due 3/20 7 pm. (TA: Sizheng) 
Tuesday Lecture  Thursday Lecture  Homework (due Friday 7 pm) 




No assignment due 




Assignment 1 Solutions (TA: KungYi) 




Assignment 2 Solutions (TA: Ge) 




Assignment 3 Solutions (TA: Zachary) 




Midterm (first page is cover sheet) Solutions (TA: Ge) 




Assignment 4 Section 8.3 of Griffiths 4th ed. Solutions (TA: Zachary) 




Assignment 5 Solutions (TA: KungYi) 




Assignment 6 Solutions (TA: Ge) 




Assignment 7 Solutions (TA: Zachary) 




Assignment 8 (FSJ only) Solutions (TA: KungYi) Final for GS Due Jun 7 FSJ: do not download this exam! It overlaps the FSJ exam. (TA: TBD) 




Final for FSJ Due Jun 14 Solutions for both Final Exams (TA: KungYi/Ge) 
Sizheng Ma: msz@caltech.eduPh106c:
Alex Turzillo: aturzillo@caltech.edu
Yongliang Zhang: ylzhang@caltech.edu
Office hours:
Tuesday and Wednesday 78 pm, problem session. This is an interactive session in which the students will work together to solve problems. Credit will be given for attending. You need only attend one session per week to get credit.
Tuesday location: 351 W. BridgeWednesday 89 pm, B157 West Bridge: office hour, no planned agenda.
Wednesday location: B157 W. Bridge
Friday 34 pm, B157 West Bridge: office hour, no planned agenda.
If you would like to help before Weds 89 pm, feel free to contact the TAs to arrange a special appointment.
Ge Chen
Zachary Mark
KungYi Su
Office hours:
Monday 910 pm, problem session, location Cahill library. This is an interactive session in which the students will work together to solve problems. Credit will be given for attending. If you cannot attend, email Prof. Golwala to make special arrangements.
Wednesday 810 pm, location Cahill library: office hour, no planned agenda.
Friday 12 pm, location 319 Cahill: office hour, no planned agenda.
If you would like to help on Tuesday, feel free to contact the TAs to arrange a special appointment.
If you don't have a key to Cahill, knock on the library windows (accessible from driveway on east side of Cahill).