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 lecture notes, problem sets, and solutions are only accessible to computers with a Caltech IP address (either direct or by VPN). 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.
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 (due Friday 4 pm) 



No Assignment Review G Ch 1 




Assignment 5 Solutions (TA: Enrico) 




Assignment 6 Solutions (partial, posted 2015/02/26 19:30) (TA: Alex) 




Assignment 7 (v 2 posted 2015/02/26 6:00) Solutions (TA: HsiaoYi) 




Assignment 8 Solutions (TA: Enrico) 




Assignment 9 Due W Mar 11 Solutions (TA: Alex) 




Final (first two pages are instructions) Solutions Due W Mar 18 (TA: HsiaoYi, Golwala) 
Tuesday Lecture  Thursday Lecture  Homework (due Friday 4 pm) 




No assignment due 




Assignment 1 Solutions (TA: ) 




Assignment 2 Solutions (TA: ) 




Assignment 3 Solutions (TA: ) 




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




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




Assignment 5 Solutions (TA: ) 




Assignment 6 Solutions (TA: ) 




Assignment 7 Solutions (TA: ) 




Assignment 8 (FSJ only) Solutions (TA: ) Final for GS Due June 5 FSJ: do not download this exam! It overlaps the FSJ exam. (TA: all) 




Final for FSJ Due June 12 Solutions for both Final exams (TA: all) 
Problem sets due date: Friday 4 pm, to locked homework box outside 307 Cahill. 4 pm means 4 pm.
 On consulting tutors, TAs, fellow students, etc:
Remember what the collaboration policy says: you must first try the problems yourself. You can consult the instructor, TAs, tutors, fellow students, etc., but your solution must be the result of your own understanding. You cannot ask other people to show you how to do a homework problem, or watch them do it, only discuss general issues and concepts with them, or work different examples.
Generally, homework problems appear difficult because either the underlying physics or the calculational technique has not been understood. Understand those and the homework is doable on your own.
 On assisting fellow students:
The same rules apply. Don't tell your fellow students how to do a problem. You can help them figure it out themselves by discussing relevant concepts, other examples, etc. Helping another student without explicitly showing them how to do a problem is helpful to your own understanding, also, as you must have the concepts and techniques clear in your own head in order to effectively explain them to another student.
 On exams for those who have consulted additional material on the web during their studying:
In some instances, you may reference notes taken from online resources. In particular, if you take the initiative to do study beyond class material and you get lucky by finding or studying ahead of time a problem that is later assigned, you get to benefit from your hard work. However, you may not go hunting for problems on the web after they have been assigned, and you must use your own notes (handwritten or electronics) on any materials you have found, not the original source material.
The most extreme hypothetical is the case of finding on the web a problem that is assigned on homework or an exam. If you find the problem before seeing the relevant homework or exam, and take notes on it in your own hand (real or “virtual”), then those notes are fair game for use while you are doing the homework or exam. If you see the homework or exam, then go searching on the web and find the problem, your notes on such a problem are not allowed. Even if you found the problem before you saw the exam and saved the solution on your computer, going back to that saved copy is also not allowed, since that would not be your own notes.
While it follows the letter of the above policy, hunting down scores of problems ahead of time and copying them in one’s own hand is strongly discouraged. Doing so clearly violates the spirit of the law, and the large amount of time it takes to find and copy these solutions could be much better spent learning the material.
If you do make use of electronic resources and save them, one idea would be to create a "forbidden" folder on your computer that you know you may not consult during an exam. This will prevent even accidental violations of the honor code.