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PYU44P05 Electromagnetic Interactions II

Hilary Term – 24 lectures/tutorials – 5 credits (C Patterson, W Blau)

Part I: Electromagnetic Theory
Part II: Optical Communications

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the foundations and meaning of the Maxwell equations, and of their wave-like solutions using elementary differential operators and their vector relations (gradient, divergence, curl)
  • Solve problems involving both the electromagnetic fields and their scalar and vector potentials, including the significance of Gauge invariance
  • Derive elementary optics relations (such as Snell’s law) as a consequence of electromagnetism theory and its boundary conditions
  • Discuss the physical principles of lasing, light guiding and detection in communications systems
  • Explain the basic structure of the optical components in communications systems
  • Solve simple numerical problems based on communications devices


Part I: Electromagnetic Theory
A continuation of the JS electromagnetic theory course, with emphasis on electromagnetic waves. Maxwell's equations and the electromagnetic potentials, EM waves. Plane monochromatic EM waves in unbounded media: (a) vacuum or insulator, (b) ohmic conductor, skin effect. Electromagnetic energy, Poynting's vector. Reflection and refraction of EM waves at a plane boundary. Bounded em waves: waveguides. EM radiation due to an oscillating electric dipole.

Part II: Optical Communications
Waveguiding in planar waveguides and optical fibres, dispersion and loss in fibres. Semiconductor laser/LEDs and detectors. Optical fibre communications systems including digital modulation, noise and fundamental limits.