Electromagnetism and Light (With Calculus)

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Intermediate—Spring

This course covers topics in classical physics. We begin by discussing fields—specifically, the electric field. What causes it? What does it look like? What does it do? We then use our knowledge of electric fields to understand current flow and simple circuits. From there, we discuss magnets and magnetic fields. Again, we’ll cover how magnetic fields are formed, what they look like, and what they do. After talking about electricity and magnetism separately, we will bring them together—electromagnetism—and see how they relate to light. We’ll talk about light from both a macroscopic and microscopic point of view, as well as optical devices such as cameras, microscopes, telescopes, and the eye. Emphasis will be on mathematical problem solving, as well as on conceptual understanding. A weekly laboratory session will also be conducted. An optional course-within-a-course, preparing students for the MCAT, will be available for pre-med students and will count as part of their conference work. Permission of the instructor is required. Students must have completed Classical Mechanics (With Calculus).