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Freidberg, Jeffrey, 22.105 Electromagnetic Interactions, Fall 2005. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 07 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Electromagnetic Interactions

Fall 2005

A green Aurora Borealis shimmers over snow-covered Alaskan fields.
An aurora is caused by interactions between charged particles in solar winds and atoms in the Earth's ionosphere, and shaped by the Earth's magnetic field. It produces its own magnetic fluctuations and electrical currents. (Image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.)

Course Highlights

This course features extensive lecture notes and a complete set of assignments.

Course Description

This course is a graduate level subject on electromagnetic theory with particular emphasis on basics and applications to Nuclear Science and Engineering. The basic topics covered include electrostatics, magnetostatics, and electromagnetic radiation. The applications include transmission lines, waveguides, antennas, scattering, shielding, charged particle collisions, Bremsstrahlung radiation, and Cerenkov radiation.


Professor Freidberg would like to acknowledge the immense contributions made to this course by its previous instructors, Ian Hutchinson and Ron Parker.



This course discusses principles and applications of electromagnetism, starting from Maxwell's equations, with emphasis on phenomena important to nuclear engineering and radiation sciences, solution methods for electrostatic and magnetostatic fields, charged particle motion in those fields, particle acceleration and focusing and collisions with charged particles and atoms. It also covers electromagnetic waves, wave emission by accelerated particles, Bremsstrahlung, Compton scattering, photoionization, and elementary applications to ranging, shielding, imaging, and radiation effects.

22.105 Curriculum Outline (PDF)

Class Textbook

Jackson, J. D. Classical Electrodynamics. 3rd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1998. ISBN: 9780471309321.
A great book. The first half of the book now uses SI units. The second half still uses CGS units. This book will serve as a valuable reference for many years to come. I still use my original copy, purchased in 1962!

Supplemental Readings

Feynman, R. P. The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Vol. 1. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1971. ISBN: 9780201021165.

Panofsky, W. K., and M. Philips. Classical Electricity and Magnetism. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1962. ISBN: 9780201057027.

Evans, R. D. The Atomic Nucleus. Malabar, FL: Kreiger Publishing, 1982. ISBN: 9780898744149. (Reprint of 1955 McGraw-Hill edition).
Chapters 18-24 contain an extensive discussion of charged particle interaction with matter, energy loss, ranging, etc.

Humphries, S. Principles of Charged Particle Accelerators. New York, NY: J. Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1986. ISBN: 9780471878780.
Has relevant material on ion focusing and optics.

Livingstone, M. S., and J. P. Blewett. Particle Accelerators. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1962. ISBN: 1114443840.
Has a very practical discussion of many types of accelerators still useful in medium energy applications.

Herzberg, G. Atomic Spectra and Atomic Structure. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1944. ISBN: 9780486601151.
Good introduction to atomic spectra which is a small part of this subject.

Problem Sets

The weekly problem sets are an essential part of the course. Working through these problems is crucial to understanding the material.

Problem sets will generally be assigned at the Tuesday lecture and will be due at start of class on the following Thursday.

There will be a midterm exam and a final exam. If you did well on the problem sets you should do well on the midterm and final exams.


The final grade for the course will be based on the following:

Homework 25%
Midterm Exam 35%
Final Exam 35%
Class Participation 5%


1 Electrostatics, Coulomb force, Electric Field, Gauss' Law, Poisson's Equation
2 Solving Poisson's Equation, Overview of Methods, 1-D Problems, Capacitance, Resistance
3 Solving Problems Continued, Separation of Variables, Method of Images, Boundary Conditions, 2-D and 3-D Problems
4 Solving Problems Continued, the Failure of Separation of Variables, the Method of Green's Theorem
5 Using Green's Theorem in Complicated Geometries, Dielectric Materials
6 Magnetostatics, Analogy to Electrostatics, Potentials, Biot-Savart Law, Ampere's Law
7 Inductance, Magnetic Materials, Superconductors
8 Motion of Charged Particles in Static Electric and Magnetic Fields, Spectrometers
9 The Concept of Focusing, Electrostatic Accelerators
10 Magnetostatic Accelerators, Beam Density Limit
11 Quasistatics, Faraday's Law, Circuit Equations for a Solenoid, Conservation Relations
12 Applications, Transformers, Ignition Coil, Pulsed Power Supply
13 Applications, Magnetic Diffusion, Skin Depth, Power Dissipated
14 Applications, AC Losses and Quench in Superconductors
15 Applications, a Proton Beam Accelerator
16 The Problem with Quasistatics, The Full Maxwell Equations, Forces and Energy
17 Electromagnetic Waves, Plane Waves, Reflection, Refraction, Absorption, Transmission, Transmission Lines
18 Waveguides, Klystrons, Gyrotrons
19 Electromagnetic Radiation, Lienard-Wiechert Potentials, Radiation From a Moving Charge
20 Applications, Dipole Antennas, Launching Arrays
21 Applications, Thomson Scattering
22 Applications, Compton Scattering, The Photo-electric Effect
23 Applications, Synchrotron Radiation, Cerenkov Radiation
24 Applications, Bremsstrahlung Radiation   Tell A Friend