PHYS5010 Electrodynamics and Differential Geometry

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Mathematics and Statistics; Physics [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]
This unit builds on a solid foundation of mathematics and physics established at the undergraduate levels in Physics, and develops some of the major elements of modern theoretical physics at an advanced level. The unit is comprised of the following two related 18 lecture modules with their objectives below: (i) Differential Geometry for Physicists; and (ii) Relativistic Electrodynamics.

The general aims of Differential Geometry for Physicists are to introduce the following elements of modern differential geometry and demonstrate their use in the context of modern physics: manifolds; differential forms; Riemannian geometry; De Rham theory; Lie groups and Lie algebras.

Building on the content of undergraduate level electrodynamics, the general aims for the Relativistic Electrodynamics model are to review and extend the understanding of following topics at a more mathematically sophisticated level: special relativity; charged particles in electromagnetic fields; the electromagnetic field equations; electromagnetic waves; the field of moving charges; radiation of electromagnetic waves; and geometric optics and diffraction.
Students are able to (1) communicate central ideas and concepts involved in differential geometry and advanced electrodynamics; (2) explain the relationships between the physical principles that apply in differential geometry and advanced electrodynamics; and (3) solve advanced problems in theoretical physics in the context of differential geometry and advanced electrodynamics..
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments and (2) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Evgeny Bukhbinder
Unit rules
completion of the core units in the Physics major or Frontier Physics extended major or equivalent.
Advisable prior study:
PHYS3004 Advanced Quantum Mechanics; PHYS3011 Mathematical Physics
Contact hours
lectures:3 x 45 minutes per week; practical classes: 1 x 45 minutes per week.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.