Phys411 - Electricity and Magnetism
of Maryland, College Park
Spring 2010, Professor:
Problems from Griffiths,
Introduction to Electrodynamics, 3rd edition
HW0 - due at
class, Monday 1/28/10
HW11 - due at
class, Thursday 5/06/10
(By contrast, if an 80 keV electron in an X-ray tube comes
close enough to a
Tungsten nucleus to be deflected by a large angle, an X-ray carrying a
fraction of the electron kinetic energy can be emitted.)
11.14 (decay of atomic electron orbit) Suggestion: P = -dE(r)/dt = dE/dr
Thus find and solve the differential equation for r(t), to see how long
r to go from its initial value to zero.
11.23 (pulsar spindown)
For part (d), first assume the angle is 11°, then try
Add part (e): How long would it take the pulsar to lose all of it's
rotational kinetic energy at this rate?
Treat the pulsar as a uniform sphere of radius 10 km and mass 1.4
spin axis be the z-direction, and think of the time dependent part
of the dipole moment
as caused by a pair of magnetic dipoles in the x and y directions. You
may assume that the net power radiated
is the sum of that from each of these, which it is since the
cross-terms in the Poynting vector average to zero over a cycle.)
(Optional: Show that while the spin
down rate slows as the spin rate slows, the time derivative of the
square of the
period is constant in time, and derive from this a formula for the
current age of a pulsar using the measured values
of P and dP/dt, assuming the initial period is much shorter than the
currently observed one.
For an intro to pulsars see: http://www.cv.nrao.edu/course/astr534/Pulsars.html)
S11. (rotating dipole) Consider an electric dipole at the
origin, rotating in the xy plane, with angular frequency omega.
Use (11.56) and (11.57) to write the electric and magnetic field (a) at
a point on the z axis far from the dipole,
and (b) at a point on the x axis far from the dipole. (c) What is the
polarization of the radiation in the two
cases (a) and (b)?
HW10 - due at
class, Thursday 4/29/10
9.30 (TM waveguide modes)
10.3 (V=0 gauge)
10.5 (gauge transformation for V=0
10.12 (net effect of first order time dependence of current (see also Prob. 10.11))
10.13 (potential for circulating charge)
10.20 (fields for circulating charge) Modify the problem: (a) Find the fields for any point on the axis.,
not just at the center, and (b) find the leading order contribution to
the Poynting vector on the axis at large
distance from the charge. Skip the part about the steady current
Suggestion: This problem is easier to deal with if you use
vector notation, taking advantage of vector
orthogonality, etc. To this end, let z
be the field point on the axis, and let w(t) = R [cos(wt) xhat + sin(wt) yhat]
be the position of the particle on the circle at time t (where w in the
argument of the sin and cos is omega, not double-u).
Note that z is orthogonal to w, v,
a; and v is orthogonal to w and a.
HW9 - due at
class, Thursday 4/15/10
and transmitted waves)
9.19 (skin depth) For part (c), compare the B/E ratio to
its vacuum value.
9.21 (air to silver reflection coefficient)
9.25 (group and phase velocity with resonant dispersion)
9.37a,b,e,f (skip c&d) (evanescent waves)
and permeability (for a certain
range of frequencies) were first
discussed in 1967 by Veselago, and in
recent years so-called "metamaterials"
with these properties have
been fabricated. They exhibit a negative index of refraction. See Reversing
by John B. Pendry and David R. Smith. That article attributes this
phenomenon to the need to take the negative
square root in computing
the index, due to analytic properties of the solutions for the fields.
This may be so,
but it is at least somewhat obscure, and there is a
simpler way to view this phenomenon. Consider then a
linear medium (the
metamaterial) with negative dielectric permittivity epsilon and
magnetic permeability mu,
and take a look at Maxwell's equations in
this medium, in the absence of free charge density or current density.
The equations are identical to those with permittivity |epsilon| and
permeability |mu|, so it looks at first as if
there is no difference at
all. However, the Poynting vector in a medium is given by (1/mu)ExB,
with the sign of mu. Hence the energy flow is anti-parallel to the wave vector in
a plane wave. When electromagnetic
radiation strikes a plane interface from, say, vacuum to such a
material, Snell's law must hold as usual in terms
of the tangential
component of the wave vector (cf. Sec. 9.3.3 of Griffiths), but the
wave vector is antiparallel
to the energy flux. (a) Use this to derive
the version of Snell's law that relates the energy flux directions,
than the wave vector directions. (b) Explain the functioning of
the planar slab lens in Fig. 4(c) of the article linked above.
HW8 - due at
class, Thursday 4/08/10
7.37 (conduction and displacement currents in sea
8.2 (conservation of energy)
8.7 (conservation of angular momentum)
9.8 (circularly polarized string waves)
9.9 (plane electromagnetic waves)
HW7 - due at beginning of
class, Thursday 4/01/10
7.1 (resistance between concentric shells)
7.12 (induced current in loop) [Neglect any self-inductance of the
7.34 (spherical, time dependent electric field)
7.49 (diamagnetic response of bound electron) [Note: The idea here is
to show that the
mass times the change of centripetal acceleration at constant r matches
the change of
centripetal force due to the field dB. Griffiths suggests that you
compute the former via
the change in kinetic energy dT (using the work-energy theorem). You
could also do it
just by computing the change in speed dv (using the tangential
7.51 (self inductance and oscillating wire loop)
[Hint: First show that the
total flux through the loop is constant in time.]
coil The primary coil has an AC current, and surrounds a
The secondary is the jumping ring. The puzzle was to understand why
this thing exerts a
constant nonzero average force. The answer is that the self inductance
of the ring creates an
extra phase lag. I set up the problem in class, here you carry it out
Let I_p be the current in the primary, and let M be the mutual
inductance of the primary and
the ring when the ring is "floating", so the flux through the ring due
to the primary current is
M I_p. Let L be the self-inductance of the ring, so the flux through
the ring due to the ring's
current I is LI. Let R be the resistance of the ring.
(a) Write the differential equation satisfied by I.
(b) Solve for I in the steady state, using the method of complex
exponentials. That is, assume
I_p = I_p0 e^iwt and I = I_0 e^iwt, and solve for the complex amplitude
I_0. Show that if L=0 the
ring current lags the primary by π/2, and if L is nonzero it lags by an
extra phase, delta, and find delta.
(c) The repulsive force on the ring will be proportional to minus the
product of the two currents,
F(t) ~ - Re(I_p)Re(I). Compute the average of this quantity over one
cycle, and express the result in
terms of w, R, L, M, and I_p0.
(d) Find the value of L for which the average force is maximized, with
the other quantities held fixed.
(e) Suppose the ring is a small cylinder of radius r and height r.
Assuming the current is carried
within the ring, and (crudely) treating the magnetic field as uniform
inside, find the self-inductance of the ring.
(f) Express the resistance R of the ring in
terms of the resistivity rho, r, and the thickness of the ring wall
(g) How does
the ratio L/R depend on r and a?
(h) Assume a 60Hz
AC current in the solenoid, r = 2 cm, and a = 0.2 cm, and suppose the
ring is made of copper
(see Table 7.1). Evaluate the ratio omega L/R,
where omega is the angular frequency. For what values of
a and r is the
inductive reactance equal to the resistance?
HW6 - due at beginning of
class, Monday 3/29/10
5.25 (vector potential of an infinite line current)
5.29 (field of a spinning charged sphere)
5.36 (dipole moment of a spinning charged shell) (Compute the dipole
moment from integrating (5.84),
and then use the results in (5.66) and (5.83) to show that the field
outside is that of a pure dipole with
precisely the dipole moment that you computed.)
6.12 (non-uniformly magnetized cylinder)
6.19 (estimate of diamagnetic susceptibility) (For the size of the
orbit take one Angstrom, and for the
volume per atom take (2 Angstroms)^3, and consider the contribution
just from one electron.
This is supposed to be only a rough, order of magnitude estimate.
Besides its inherent roughness
regarding diamagnetism, it neglects any competing residual paramagnetic
6.21 (energy of magnetic dipole interactions)
6.24 (slick trick for finding potentials for uniform polarization or
S6. (Aharonov-Bohm effect)
HW5 - due by 5pm, Friday
3/05/10, turned in either in class before that or at Dr.
Room 4115 (under the door if he is not there).
5.3 (J.J. Thompson's e/m measurement)
5.12 (speeding to escape the Force)
5.14 (slab current)
5.24 (vector potential for uniform magnetic field) Let part (a) be the
problem as stated.
Add (b) If the uniform field points in the z
direction, find a vector potential that depends only upon x.
5.34 (physical and pure magnetic dipole)
5.39 (Hall effect) Add part (d) Eliminate the charge velocity from
to find the relation
voltage, current, magnetic field, charge carrier density n, charge
dimensions of the bar.
5.55 (dipole in a uniform field) (Suggestion:
for which the dot product of the total field with
radial unit vector vanishes. Use (5.87) to write the dipole part.)
5.56 (gyromagnetic ratio) For (b) assume only that the spinning
body has axisymmetric charge and mass density,
and the ratio of charge to
mass density is uniform. Replace part (c) by the following: If
the electron and proton
were classical spheres with uniform charge to
mass density ratio, and angular momentum hbar/2 (as befits a
spin-1/2 particle), what would be the ratio of their magnetic
Express your answer in terms of their masses.
Point of information: As
mentioned in the problem in the book, the electron magnetic moment is
greater than the uniform estimate by almost exactly a factor of 2. The
magnetic moment of a proton,
on the other hand, is larger than the above estimate by a factor of
about 5.58. The difference comes from
the fact that the proton is a composite object, with finite sized
substructure. Thus the true ratio of electron
to proton magnetic moments is 2/5.58 times the mass ratio, i.e. ~ 658.
By the way, the neutron also has spin
hbar/2, and has a magnetic moment opposite to the spin direction and
equal in magnitude to about 0.68 times
the proton magnetic moment. (The neutron mass differs from the proton
mass by less than 0.2%, so the mass
difference is nearly irrelevant.) Evidently there is a separation of
positive and negative charge inside the
neutron, with the positive charge concentrated toward the center.
HW4 - due at beginning of
class, Monday 3/01/09
4.4 (force between charge and polarized atom) Compute (a)
the force on the charge,
and (b) the force on the dipole using Eq.
(4.5). They should be equal and opposite!
4.17 (electret sketches) Be careful to indicate where field lines are
kinked, if anywhere.
4.21 (capacitance of dielectric coaxial cable)
4.32 (charge in a dielectric sphere) Note:
use Eqn. (1.99) to deal with divergence at the origin.
4.33 (kink in electric field lines at dielectric interface)
S4. Charged balloon interaction with
In class we charged a balloon and it stuck to the wooden wall (door). I
the induced dipoles provided a normal force,
as well as a vertical
force acting on the curved balloon surface, which together with static
friction held the balloon up
against the force of gravity. Let's
investigate the dipole force in this situation with a (ridiculously)
suppose the left half-space x < 0 is filled with a
linear, isotropic dielectric material. The plane x = 0 is the surface
of the "wall".
The "balloon" is an infinite plane, parallel
to the wall, with a surface charge density sigma.
(a) Find the electrostatic force per unit area on the
balloon. Express your
answer in terms of the dielectric constant epsilon_r
of the wood.
Does the distance to the wall enter? Check your result using
(Note that if the wall were replaced by a slab of finite thickness, the
net force would be zero. To simplify the more complicated
problem of a finite sized balloon, I have pushed the back side of the
door off to infinity, thus ignoring its contribution to the force.)
(b) Take the limits of your result as the
dielectric constant goes to unity and to infinity,
and show that the result is the
same as if the dielectric were replaced by vacuum or a conducting
(c) Determine the surface charge density of the balloon by assuming the
balloon is an isolated sphere of radius 10 cm at an
electrostatic potential of 1000 V (it could be several times this after
I rubbed it with the fur.) Assume the dielectric constant of the
wood is 4, and calculate the force per unit area in the planar model
with this surface charge density. Find the force on
100 square centimeters, and compare this to the weight of the balloon,
assumed to have a mass of 1g.
(Hint: The force can be
using the electric field of the bound surface charge on the wall.
To find the bound
surface charge I suggest you follow the method of Ex. 4.8.)
HW3 - due by
2/19/10, turned in to Prof. Jacobson either in class, or at
his office (under the door if he is not there).
3.20 (charged conducting sphere in electric field) - You can obtain the
result by a simple modification
of the result in Example 3.8,
allowing for the charge Q on the sphere. Be sure to justify why your
modification yields the correct potential. Alternatively, you can
revisit the analysis ab initio. If you
proceed this way, note that the potential can no longer
vanish everywhere in the equatorial plane.
You may choose where it is
to vanish, e.g. on the sphere itself, or in the equatorial plane
Apply Gauss' law to fix the value of the 1/r term.
3.21 (spherical expansion for disk potential)
(Hint: Match a Taylor
expansion in R/r to
the spherical expansion on the axis.)
3.23 (separation of variables in cylindrical coordinates) - Follow
steps similar to those of section 3.3.2.
Don't forget to impose
periodicity under addition of 2 pi to the angle.
3.24 (conducting pipe in an electric field)
3.32 (field of three charges) - Modify this problem as follows:
Evaluate the monopole and dipole moments.
(b) Write down the monopole
and dipole parts of the potential using (a).
(c) Write down the electric field
using (3.104) for the dipole part. Write it in two ways:
(i) using the
unit vectors in the radial and z directions, (ii) using the unit
vectors in the radial and theta
3.38 (multipole expansion of charged line segment)
S3. (Faraday cage leakage) In
a class demo it was shown that a wire
mesh strainer acts like a good Faraday cage,
shielding electric fields.
If we compare the wire mesh to a continuous conductor, the difference
is that the
on the surface is redistributed in a pattern with a spatial
periodicity on the length scale of the distance between the
mesh wires. It is clear that far from
the mesh the effects of this redistribution will be small, but how
To explore the effect of this pattern of charge density let's consider
the simpler problem in which on the z=0 plane
the potential is given by
some function V(x,y,0) that is periodic in the x and y directions with
a double Fourier series,
V(x,y,0) = V_0(x,y) = Sum_mn V_mn sin(2pi m x/L)sin(2pi n y/L).
(A generic periodic function would include also cosine terms in the
Fourier expansion, but the sine series is
sufficiently general to
illustrate the point.) Solve Laplace's equation in the half space z
> 0 using separation
variables, with the above boundary condition, together with the
condition V(x,y,z) -> 0 as z -> infinity.
Show that the field falls off exponentially as z
grows, and find the slowest possible rate of falloff under these
circumstances. Write the solution in the other half-space z < 0, assuming
-> - infinity.
class, Thursday 2/11/10
2.30(b) (cylindrical tube) - do only part(b)
2.36 (spherical cavities in a sphere)
2.48 (space charge) - (Hint: To
arises, try V(x) proportional to xn
and find the power n that works.)
3.8 (point charge and non-grounded conducting sphere)
3.10 (plates at right angle) - You need not answer the questions about
plates at angles other than π/2. I think it can be done for π/2n
for any integer n. I don't know if there are other cases but it seems
3.15 (cubical box)
S2. Nuclear fission (a) Find
the energy of a uniformly charged sphere. (Use any method you like. See
problems 2.32 and 2.33 for suggested methods.)
(b) Use your result to determine how the electrostatic energy of a
nucleus depends on the charge Z and atomic mass number A.
Take the radius of the nucleus to be A1/3 times 1.25 fermi.
One fermi is E-15 meter. Express the result in units of MeV (mega
(c) If a nucleus (A,Z) splits into two nuclei (A/2, Z/2), how much
electrostatic energy is liberated? Give your answer both as a fraction
of the initial energy and in MeV. (d) When Uranium-235
absorbs a neutron it can fission into Barium-141+ Krypton-92 + 3
Estimate the electrostatic energy released in such a reaction.
HW1 - due at the beginning
of class, Thursday 2/4/10
2.6 (disk) When taking limits, show that for z << R the
field approaches the constant value
for an infinite planar charge density, and for z >> R it
approaches the field of a point charge.
2.9 (radial r^3 field) Do part (b) by (i) integrating the charge
density, and (ii) using Gauss' law.
2.16 (coaxial cable) (Hint: Use
2.18 (overlapping spherical charges) (Hint:
First find the field inside a single sphere.)
2.21 (uniformly charged sphere)
2.24 (coaxial cable, potential difference)
2.25(c) (potential of disk) (Do only part (c).)
S1. Dirac delta function and field
of a point charge
(a) Compute the divergence of the vector field r/(r3
+ a3), where r is
the radial vector and a is a constant length.
(b) Show that the result is a spike at the origin that becomes
infinitely high and infinitely narrow as a goes to zero.
(c) Show that the integral of this spike over all of space is 4π,
independent of a.