Syllabus for Electromagnetism and Wave Physics

Elektromagnetism och vågrörelselära

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 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: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 31, 2010
  • 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 familiar with basic concepts within electromagnetism and wave physics to be able to:

  • carry out electric and magnetic field calculations in certain basic geometries and with certain boundary conditions

  • calculate static and time-dependent currents in basic circuits containing resistors, capacitors and inductors

  • handle the most common electrical measurement instruments

  • 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


Electromagnetism and Wave Physics constitutes a basis for continued studies in physics, electrical engineering and materials science and include:

  • 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.

  • Alternating current: 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.

Laboratory work:

  • Electrical measurement techniques and measuring instruments.

  • Capacitor experiments.

  • Induction.

  • Alternating current.

  • Polarisation.

  • Beam optics.

  • Wave optics.

Projects with electrical applications


Lectures, problem solving sessions and laboratory work. Projects.


Written examination at the end of the different parts of the course: Electromagnetism (4 HE credits), Wave Physics (2 HE credits). Laboratory work: Electromagnetism (1.5+1.5 HE credits), Wave Physics (1 HE credits). The final grade is based on laboratory reports and written assignments form together with the written examinations.

Syllabus Revisions

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 32, 2010