Electricity and Magnetism Using Special Relativity and Vector Calculus

Physics H&S - Humanities & Sciences

Course Description

(Third in a three-part series: PHYSICS 61, PHYSICS 71, PHYSICS 81.) This course recasts the foundations of electricity and magnetism in a way that will surprise, delight, and challenge students who have already encountered the subject at a college or AP level. Suitable for students contemplating a major in Physics or Engineering Physics, those interested in a rigorous treatment of physics as a foundation for other disciplines, or those curious about powerful concepts like transformations, symmetry, and conservation laws. Electrostatics and Gauss' law. Electric potential, electric field, conductors, image charges. Electric currents, DC circuits. Moving charges, magnetic field as a consequence of special relativity applied to electrostatics, Ampere's law. Solenoids, transformers, induction, AC circuits, resonance. Displacement current, Maxwell's equations. Electromagnetic waves. Throughout, we'll see the objects and theorems of vector calculus become manifest in charges, currents, and electromagnetic fields. Prerequisite: A score of 5 on the AP Physics C E&M exam or Physics 43; Physics 61; and Math 52 or Math 62CM. Recommended prerequisite: Physics 71. Corequisite: Math 53 or Math 63CM. This course was offered as PHYSICS 63 prior to Academic Year 2022-2023.

Grading Basis

ROP - Letter or Credit/No Credit





Course Repeatable for Degree Credit?


Course Component


Enrollment Optional?


Course Component


Enrollment Optional?


This course has been approved for the following WAYS

Formal Reasoning (FR), Scientific Method and Analysis (SMA)


PHYSICS81 is a prerequisite for:


PHYSICS81 is a completion requirement for: