Preface

Classical Electrodynamics is one of the most beautiful things in the world. Four simple vector equations (or one tensor equation and an asssociated dual) describe the unified electromagnetic field and more or less directly imply the theory of relativity. The discovery and proof that light is an electromagnetic wave and unifies two fields stands to this day as one of the greatest moments in the history of science.

These four equations even contain within them the seeds of their own
destruction as a classical theory. Once Maxwell's equations were known
in their entirety, it rapidly became clear that their predictions -
however beautifully verified they were for freely propagating fields and
the connection of those fields with macroscopic charge/current
distributions - were *inconsistent* with virtually all observations
at the atomic or nuclear level. This forced the classicists of the day,
many of them metaphorically kicking or screaming, to invent *quantum* mechanics and *quantum* electrodynamics to explain physics
at this scale.

Indeed, once the single fact that an accelerated charged particle necessarily radiates electromagnetic energy was known, it became virtually impossible to conceptually explain the persistence of structure at the microscopic level (since the forces associated with binding objects together out of discrete charged parts inevitably produce an oscillation of charge due to small perturbations of position, with an associated acceleration). The few hypotheses that were advanced to account for it ``without'' an overtly oscillatory model were rapidly and decisively shot down by (now famous) experiments by Rutherford, Millikan, and others.

Even though the Universe proves to be quantum mechanical at the
microscopic level, classical electrodynamics is nevertheless extremely
relevant and useful in the real world today at the *macroscopic*
level. It describes extremely precisely nearly all the mundane aspects
of ordinary electrical engineering and electromagnetic radiation from
the static limit through optical frequencies. Even at the molecular
level or photonic level where it breaks down and a quantum theory must
be used it is *first* necessary to *understand* the classical
theory before exploring the quantum theory, as the quantum theory is
built on top of the entire relativistic electrodynamic conceptual
framework already established.

This set of lecture notes is designed to be used to teach graduate students (and possibly advanced and motivated undergraduates) classical electrodynamics. In particular, it supports the second (more difficult) semester of a two semester course in electrodynamics that covers pretty much ``all'' of the theory itself (omitting, of course, many topics or specific areas where it can be applied) out to the points where the theory itself breaks down as noted above. At that point, to make further progress a student needs to learn about more fields, quantum (field) theory, advanced (general) relativity - topics generally beyond the scope of these notes.

The requirements for this course include a thorough understanding of electricity and magnetism at the level of at least one, ideally two, undergraduate courses. At Duke, for example, physics majors are first exposed first to an introductory course that covers the integral formulation of Maxwell's equations and light that uses no multivariate differential calculus, then a second course that develops the vector differential formulation of Maxwell's equations and their consequences) as does this course) but with considerably less mathematical rigor and completeness of the treatment as students taking it have likely still not had a course in e.g. contour integration. Students using these notes will find it useful to be at least somewhat comfortable with vector differential and integral calculus, to have had exposure to the theory and solution methodology of ordinary and partial differential equations, to be familiar with the mathematics of complex variables and analytic functions, contour integration, and it would be simply lovely if they at least knew what a ``tensor'' was.

However, even more so than is the case for most physics texts, this book
will endeavor to provide internal support for students that are weak in
one or more of these required mathematical skills. This support will
come in one of several forms. At the very least, considerable effort
has been made to hunt down on behalf of the student and explicitly
recommend useful textbooks and online resources on various mathematical
and physical topics that may be of use to them. Many of these resources
are freely available on the web. Some mathematical methods are
completely developed in the context of the discussion, either because it
makes sense to do so or because there simply *are* no references a
student is likely to be able to find. Finally, selected topics will be
covered in e.g. appendices or as insertions in the text where they are
short enough to be coverable in this way and important enough that
students are likely to be highly confused without this sort of support.

A very brief review of the *electrodynamics* topics covered
includes: Maxwell's equations themselves (skipping the usual coverage of
electrostatics and magnetostatics that often makes up the first semester
of a two-semester course), then plane waves, dispersion, penetration of
waves at a boundary (skin depth), wave guides and cavities and the
various (TE, TM, TEM) modes associated with them, and radiation in the
more general case beginning with sources.

In the course of studying radiation from sources we develop multipolar
radiation in detail. This text includes a fairly thorough exposition of
the underlying PDEs, the properties of the Green's functions used to
generate multipoles both approximate and exact, and formally precise
solutions that extend *inside* the source charge-current density (as
indeed they must for this formalism to be of use in e.g. self-consistent
field theories treating extended charge density distributions). In
addition to the vector spherical harmonics, it defines and derives the
properties of the Hansen multipoles (which are otherwise very nearly a
lost art) demonstrating their practical utility with example problems
involving antennae. It concludes this part of the exposition with a
short description of optical scattering as waves interact with
``media'', e.g. small spheres intended to model atoms or molecules.

The text then procedes to develop relativity theory, first reviewing the
elementary theory presumably already familiar to students, then
developing the full Lorentz Group. As students tend to *not* be
familiar with tensors, the notes contain a special appendix on tensors
and tensor notation as a supplement. It also contains a bit of
supplemental support on at least those aspects of contour integration
relevant to the course for similar reasons. With relativity in hand,
relativistic electrodynamics is developed, including the properties of
radiation emitted from a point charge as it is accelerated.

Finally, the text concludes with a nice overview of radiation reaction
(exploring the work of Lorentz, Dirac, and Wheeler and Feynman) and the
puzzles therein - self-interaction versus action at a distance, the
need for a *classical* renormalization in a theory based on
self-interaction. This makes the text just a bit too long to present in
a single semester (at least to my own experience); instructors that
begin with Maxwell's equations in detail (including the treatment of
monopoles) may not have time to get to radiation reaction, but
instructors who begin with plane waves or waveguides likely will.

One *note-worthy* feature of this text in its *online form*
(sorry, but I do like puns and you'll just have to get used to them:-)
is that the electronic/online version of them includes several
inventions of my own such as a *wikinote*wikipediaA
wikinote is basically a footnote that directs a student to a useful
article in the Wikipedia. There is some (frankly silly) controversy on
just how accurate and useful the Wikipedia is for scholarly work, but
for *teaching* or *learning* science and mathematics on your own
it is rapidly becoming *indispensible* as some *excellent*
articles are constantly being added and improved that cover, basically,
all of electrodynamics and the requisite supporting mathematics.
Personally, I think the objections to it are largely economic - in a
few more years this superb free resource will essentially destroy the
lucrative textbook market altogether, which honestly is probably a good
thing. At the very least, a textbook will have to add significant value
to survive, and maybe will be a bit less expensive than the $100-a-book
current standard., a reference to supporting wikipedia articles that
appears as a URL and footnote in the text copy but which is an *active link* in a PDF or HTML (online) copy. Similarly, there are
google links and ordinary web links presented in the same way.

This text a set of *real* lecture notes and is therefore likely to
change as they are used, semester by semester. In some cases the
changes are quite important, for example when a kind reader gently
points out a bone-headed mistake I made that makes some aspect of the
physics or presentation quite incorrect. In others they are smaller
improvements: a new link, a slightly improved discussion, fixing clumsy
language, a new figure (or putting in one of the missing old ones), more
or better problems.

For all of these reasons, students who are using this textbook may wish
to have *both* a bound paper copy (homemade or purchased for a
fairly nominal sum through Lulu or Amazon) - that will *inevitably*
contain omissions and mistakes or material I don't actually cover in
*this* year's class - *and* the current electronic copy. I
generally maintain the current snapshot of the electronic copy that I'm
actually using to teach from where it is available, for free to all
comers, on my personal/class website at:

http://www.phy.duke.edu/ rgb/Class/Electrodynamics.phphttp://www.phy.duke.edu/ rgb/Class/Electrodynamics.php

(which cleverly and self-consistently demonstrates an active link in action, as did the wikilink above). In this way a student or instructor can have the convenience of a slightly-out-of-date paper copy to browse or study or follow and mark up during lecture as well as an electronic copy that is up to date and which contains useful active links.

Let it be noted that I'm as greedy and needy as the next human, and can
always use extra money. As I've worked quite hard on this text (and
from observation they go quite beyond what e.g. most of my colleagues in
the physics world make available as online notes for their own courses)
and I have done the work required to transform them into an actual bound
book that students *can* elect to purchase all at once instead of
downloading the free PDF, printing it out as two-sided pages, punching
it, and inserting it into a three ring binder that anonymously joins the
rest of their notes and ultimately is thrown away or lost.

This printed book is remarkably inexpensive by the standards of modern
textbooks (where e.g Wyld, which I once purchased now at $16 a copy, is
not available new for *$70* a copy). At the same site, students
can find the actual PDF from which the book is generated available for a
very low cost and are at liberty to purchase and keep that on their
personal laptops or PDF-capable e-book readers, or for that matter to
have *it* printed and bound by a local printer. In both cases I
make a small royalty (on the order of $5) from their sale, which is both
fair and helps support me so that I can write more texts such as this.

However, students around the world have very different means.
Purchasing a $7.50 download in the United States means (for *most*
students) that a student has to give up a few Latte Enormes from
Starbucks. Purchasing that same download could be a real hardship for
students from many countries around the world *including* some from
the United States. For this reason students will always have the *option* of using the online notes directly from the class website for
free or printing their own copy on paper at cost. All that I ask of
students who elect to use them for free is that they ``pay it forward''
- that one day *they* help others who are less fortunate in some
way for free so that we can all keep the world moving along in a
positive direction.

The one restriction I have, and I think it is entirely fair, is that
instructors who elect to use these notes to help support the teaching of
their own classes (either building them with or without modifications
from the sources or using any of the free prebuilt images) may not *resell* these notes to their own students for a profit or otherwise
without my explicit permission, nor may they alter this preface, the
authorship or copyright notice (basically all the front-matter) or the
license. Instructors are free to add to or edit the *content* to
support their own class, however, and the notes should easily build on
any e.g. linux system.

Anyway, good luck and remember that I *do* cherish feedback of all
sorts, corrections, additions (especially in ready-to-build latex with
EPS figures:-), suggestions, criticisms, and or course money. You can
*always* send me money...