Rutgers University Department of Physics and Astronomy






Prof. David Vanderbilt
Office: Serin E291
Phone: (848) 445-9049
Office Hours: Fridays 3:30-4:30pm

Textbook: Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics, Fourth Edition. This is a required text, and I plan to work almost exclusively from this text. Ch. 1-6 were covered during the fall term (Physics 385), so we will cover the rest of the chapters beginning with Ch. 7 this term.

Lectures: Lectures will meet as follows:

Lecture should be as interactive as possible; you are definitely encouraged to ask questions, or express what is confusing you, in the lecture. Also, I strongly recommend that you read the corresponding textbook material before lecture, so that you can come prepared to ask questions about the points that you find unclear.

Homeworks: Since people usually "learn by doing," the homeworks are an extremely important part of the course experience. Homeworks will be assigned each week (except around the hour exams), with the homework due the next week. Homework will be graded and returned to you. Solutions will be available on the same day as the homeworks are collected, so this does not leave any room for acceptance of late homeworks.

Quizzes: A few (probably 3) scattered lectures during the semester will end with a 10-15 minute quiz. This will always be announced at least a week in advance. The quiz questions will not be very difficult, and the grade weight will not be very large, but I think this is a useful exercise to keep you warmed up for the hour exams and to give me an idea what you have absorbed.

Exams: We will have two in-class hour exams during the semester, tentively scheduled for Wednesday Feb. 21 and Wednesday April 4. The final exam, which is scheduled for 8-11am on Tuesday May 8, will be cumulative, but with slightly stronger emphasis on the material covered after the second hour exam.

Web site: If you are looking at a paper copy of this document, it is actually a printout of the course home page located at Please bookmark this location. It will be used frequently for listing homework assignments and communicating other details about the course.

Communication: My "posted office hours" are as listed above, but you are free to see me at other times as well. If it is a quick question, just drop in; otherwise it might be advisable to phone or email ahead to make an appointment. Also, feel free to contact me by email about any aspect of the course.

Gradebook: You will be able to follow your grade record at Gradebook online.

Grades: Some allowance will be made for dropping the lowest homework and quiz grades. The final grade will tentatively be based on the following weighting:

30% for homeworks
10% for quizzes
15% for first hour exam
15% for second hour exam
30% for final exam
The final grade will also take into account intangible factors such as class participation.

Tutoring: The department maintains a list of Graduate Student Physics Tutors who are interested in tutoring undergrads "for a fee that you will need to negotiate with the tutor." (The list also mentions Rutgers Learning Center tutors, but these are usually not available for advanced courses like ours.)

Course Policies and Student Resources: Please read here for departmental and university information on:

Tentative Lecture Schedule: Syllabus.

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