Syllabus for Electromagnetism and Wave Physics

Elektromagnetism och vågrörelselära


  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1FA528
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics G1F, Technology G1F
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2010-03-16
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2019
  • Entry requirements: Linear Algebra and Geometry I, Single Variable Calculus, Several Variable Analysis, Scientific Computing I, Mechanics.
  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • carry out electric and magnetic field calculations in certain simple geometries and with certain boundary conditions
  • calculate static and time-dependent currents in simple circuits containing resistors, capacitors and inductors
  • handle the most common electrical measurement instruments at a basic level
  • identify and describe the characteristics of wave motion both for propagating and standing waves, mechanical as well as electromagnetic
  • describe and treat physical concepts within acoustics and geometrical optics
  • make basic calculations on interference- and diffraction phenomena when the wave source is coherent and be able to describe applications of these in everyday life
  • account for relevant biological applications of the course content


Electrostatics: electric charge and fields electric potential, electric dipole Gauss law. Capacitors, electrostatic energy.
Electric current: Ohm's law, Kirchhoff's laws, RC circuits.
Magnetic fields and forces. Overview of magnetic materials.
Electromagnetic induction: Inductance. LR-circuits.
Basic concepts for the alternating current and its use: Impedances with phase shifts over RLC-components. Alternating current power. The ideal transformer. Overview of three-phase electric power and electrical safety.
Basic concepts for mechanical/acoustic waves: phase and group velocity, superposition, propagating and standing waves, wave beating, doppler effect.
Electromagnetic waves and optics: Reflection, refraction, dispersion. Geometrical optics, optical instruments. Polarisation. Interference and diffraction.
Applications for biological systems, for example bird navigation, pacemakers, vision and hearing.

Laboratory work: Electrical measurement techniques and measuring instruments, capacitor experiments, induction, alternating current, polarisation, geometric optics and wave optics.


Lectures, problem solving sessions and laboratory work. Projects.


Written examination at the end of the different parts of the course: Electromagnetism (4 credits), Wave Physics (2 credits). Laboratory work: Electromagnetism (1.5+1.5 credits), Wave Physics (1 credit). The final grade is based on laboratory reports and written assignments form together with the written examinations. 
If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2019

  • Young, Hugh D.; Freedman, Roger A.; Ford, A. Lewis Sears and Zemansky's university physics with modern physics technology update

    14. ed.: Harlow, England: Pearson, cop. 2015

    Find in the library


  • Nordling, Carl; Österman, Jonny Physics handbook for science and engineering

    8., [rev.] ed.: Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2006

    Find in the library