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Unit of study_

PHYS3035: Electrodynamics and Optics

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

The development of electrodynamic field theory laid the foundation on which all of modern physics is built, from relativity to quantum field theory. Its application to electromagnetic waves and optics underpins all of modern telecommunications, but also some of the most delicate physics experiments, from gravitational wave detection to quantum computing. This is a core unit in the physics major, which has three components: electrodynamics lectures, optics lectures, and experimental lab. In electrodynamics you will learn to manipulate Maxwell's equations in their differential form. You will apply the formalism to deriving properties of electromagnetic waves, including the interaction of waves with matter through reflection and absorption. This will lead to optics lectures in which you will investigate aspects of modern optics, using the laser to illustrate the topics covered, in combination with a discussion of the basic optical properties of materials, including the Lorentz model. You will investigate spontaneous and stimulated emission of light, laser rate equations, diffraction, Gaussian beam propagation, anisotropic media and nonlinear optics. You will carry out in-depth experimental investigations into key aspects of electrodynamics, optics, as well as other topics in physics, with expert tutoring.

Unit details and rules

Unit code PHYS3035
Academic unit Physics Academic Operations
Credit points 6
Prohibitions
? 
PHYS3935 or PHYS3040 or PHYS3940 or PHYS3941 or PHYS3068 or PHYS3968 or PHYS3069 or PHYS3969 or PHYS3080 or PHYS3980
Prerequisites
? 
(PHYS2011 OR PHYS2911 OR PHYS2921) AND (PHYS2012 OR PHYS2912 OR PHYS2922)
Corequisites
? 
None
Assumed knowledge
? 

(MATH2021 OR MATH2921 OR MATH2061 OR MATH2961 OR MATH2067)

Available to study abroad and exchange students

Yes

Teaching staff

Coordinator Martijn de Sterke, martijn.desterke@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Record+) Type B final exam Final exam
Type B
40% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Tutorial quiz Quiz 2-5
Multiple choice or short answers. Quizzes in weeks 2,4,6, 9, & 12.
15% Multiple weeks 20 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO2
Skills-based evaluation hurdle task Experimental physics logbook
Skills-based evaluation
15% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4
Assignment Problem assignment
Assignment
15% Week 11
Due date: 23 Oct 2022 at 23:59
2-3 journal pages
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6 LO7
Presentation hurdle task Experimental physics oral presentation
Presentation
10% Week 13 10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO7 LO5
Small continuous assessment Continuous assessment
Submission of credible answer to a weekly problem set.
5% Weekly n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO2
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
Type B final exam = Type B final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • Assignments: One large problem assignment using aspects of both modules
  • Quizzes: Each quiz may contain multiple choice and short answer questions. There are five quizzes in total. The first quiz is purely formative. Of the remaining four quizzes the best three marks count towards the final mark. Quizzes cannot be submitted late.
  • Continuous assessment: A credible answer to a weekly problem is expected. The best 10 count towards the final mark. 
  • Experimental physics lab books:  Every student will carry out their allocated experiments during the semester, and produce a experimental logbook during the laboratory sessions that will be assessed by the tutors. This is a “hurdle task.”
  • Experimental physics oral presentation:  Students will give a 10 minutes technical presentation based on the material covered in their logbook. This is a “hurdle task.”
  • Final exam: The final exam will have questions covering all coursework aspects of this course, and will be a short-answer on-line exam. 

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Final exam: If a second replacement exam is required, this exam may be delivered via an alternative assessment method, such as a viva voce (oral exam). The alternative assessment will meet the same learning outcomes as the original exam. The format of the alternative assessment will be determined by the unit coordinator.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

At HD level, a student demonstrates a flair for the subject and comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the unit material. A ‘High Distinction’ reflects exceptional achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates the ability to apply subject knowledge to novel situations.

Distinction

75 - 84

At DI level, a student demonstrates an aptitude for the subject and a solid knowledge and understanding of the unit material. A ‘Distinction’ reflects excellent achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates an ability to apply the key ideas of the subject.

Credit

65 - 74

At CR level, a student demonstrates a good command and knowledge of the unit material. A ‘Credit’ reflects solid achievement and is awarded to a student who has a broad understanding of the unit material but has not fully developed the ability to apply the key ideas of the subject.

Pass

50 - 64

At PS level, a student demonstrates proficiency in the unit material. A ‘Pass’ reflects satisfactory achievement and is awarded to a student who has threshold knowledge of the subject.

Fail

0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see sydney.edu.au/students/guide-to-grades.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date: - Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date. - After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Electrostatics: div, grad and curl, fundamental theorems; Gauss’s law in differential form; electric potential and its gradient Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Experimental physics lab Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 02 Magnetostatics: Ampere’s law and Gauss’ law for B in differential form. Magnetic vector potential. Multipole expansion of the potential. Energy in E and B fields Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Experimental physics lab Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 03 Electrodynamics: Maxwell’s equations in differential form. Maxwell’s correction, Maxwell’s equations in matter: Auxiliary fields Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Experimental physics lab Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 04 Electrodynamics: Electromagnetic (EM) waves in vacuum; vector wave equation, complex notation; energy and momentum in EM waves. EM waves in linear media. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Experimental physics lab Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Electrodynamics: boundary conditions of EM fields. Transmission and reflection of EM waves at normal and oblique incidence Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Experimental physics lab Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Electrodynamics: The potential formulation; the Coulomb and Lorenz gauges; electric dipole radiation; rayleigh scattering Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Experimental physics lab Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Optics: The Lorentz atom, Lorentz Drude model, complex permittivity, line shapes; Kramers-Kronig relations; dispersion relations and group velocity Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Electrodynamics Individual study (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Experimental physics lab Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Optics: Waveguides and modes Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
No Description Individual study (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Experimental physics lab Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Optics: Fourier transform in optics, paraxial wave equation solutions Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Experimental physics lab Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Optics: Gaussian beams and gaussian optics; diffraction at apertures Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Optics Individual study (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Experimental physics lab Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Optics: Einstein coefficients; three and four level lasers. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Experimental physics lab Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Optics: laser rate equations; solving the rate equations. Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Optics Individual study (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Experimental physics lab Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Optics: Propagation in anisotropic media, Refraction at anisotropic interfaces Lecture and tutorial (4 hr)  
Experimental physics lab, oral presentations Science laboratory (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

The quizzes will be on-line and will be held on Friday mornings between  11:05 and 11:25 am in Weeks 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12. Quizzes cannot be taken at other times. 

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • Electrodynamics: Griffiths, D.J., Introduction to electrodynamics, Pearson, 4th edition, ISBN-13: 978-0321856562.

Optics notes will be made available through Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an understanding of key concepts in two foundation areas of physics – electrodynamics and optics
  • LO2. apply these concepts to develop models, and to solve qualitative and quantitative problems in scientific contexts, using appropriate mathematical and computing techniques as necessary
  • LO3. carry out and analyse experiments to measure specific effects
  • LO4. compare and critique experimental approaches
  • LO5. communicate scientific information appropriately, through written work and an oral presentation
  • LO6. analyse a physical problem in electrodynamics and optics and develop a formalism appropriate for solving it
  • LO7. demonstrate a sense of responsibility, ethical behaviour, and independence as a learner and as a scientist.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

The Canvas site will be made easier to navigate.

Work, health and safety

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.

General Laboratory Safety Rules

  • No eating or drinking is allowed in any laboratory under any circumstances 
  • Closed-toe shoes are mandatory 
  • Follow safety instructions in your manual, posted in laboratories, and from staff
  • In case of fire, follow instructions posted outside the laboratory door 
  • First aid kits, eye wash and fire extinguishers are located in or immediately outside each laboratory 
  • As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that you have a current tetanus immunisation. This can be obtained from University Health Service: unihealth.usyd.edu.au/

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.