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Relativistic Electrodynamics

Course 2018-2019

Admission Requirements

First 3 semesters of the Bachelor Programme plus Classical Electrodynamics


A course on relativistic electrodynamics, that will take you into the exciting interplay between Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism and special relativty, making you appreciate the roles of Lorentz symmetry and gauge invariance. Starting from the principle of relativity, and the consequent theory of special relativity, we discuss the relativistic description of electromagnetism and related transformations, eventually reformulating electrodynamics in its tensorial formulation.


– Special Theory of Relativity
– Lorentz Transformations and spacetime formulation
– Relativistic Mechanics
– Transformation of the electromagnetic field
– Tensorial formulation of electrodynamics
– Relativistic Potentials and gauge freedom

Course objectives

After completion of this course, you are able to:
– Solve special relativity problems that include time dilation, length contraction and the relativity of simultaneity
– Lorentz transforming between inertial reference frames
– Solve problems of relativistic mechanics
– Handle covariant formulation of Maxwell's equations
– Fix gauges
– Lorentz transform the electromagnetic field tensor, current density 4-vector and potential 4-vector
– Solve for the relativistic motion of charges in electromagnetic fields
– Solve for the electromagnetic field and potentials generated by a charge in motion



Mode of instruction

Blackboard lectures and Tutorials

Course load

Assessment method

Written final exam


To have access to Blackboard you need a ULCN-account.Blackboard UL

Reading list

Introduction to Electrodynamics D.J.Griffiths, Prentice Hall, third edition, 1999; ISBN 0-13-481367-7
Different editions permitted. Additional reading material provided during the course.


Contactgegevens Docent:Dr. A.Silvestri (Alessandra)