Electromagnetic Theory

ECE 557: Electromagnetic Theory, Spring 2017


Instructor: Ruth Douglas Miller, rdmiller@ksu.edu
Office and hours: DUE 3082,  hours 10-11am Monday, 2:30 Tuesday and Weds.  Please feel free to stop by whenever my office door is open, or you have not seen the day's doodle on the window!


Grader:  Nazif Faqiry
Office and hours: DUE 3062, 11am Wednesday.


Texts and On-Line Libraries:





Homework Assignments


Other Resources



Course Objectives and Description


The objective of this course is to convey the basic physical concepts that lie behind all electrical engineering--the interactions between charged particles, whether stationary or in motion. After a review of vector algebra, we will examine the atomic and magnetic forces between stationary and steadily moving charged particles. Real-life examples of these forces in action include lightning, DC motors, xerographic copy machines, electrostatic discharges that destroy CMOS chips, cathode-ray tubes, cyclotrons, and magnetic levitation trains. Finally we'll discuss forces created by charges moving in a periodic manner, relating them to electromagnetic plane waves such as light and to transmission lines, whose operation may be described with circuit theory or electromagnetic theory. We will consider transmission lines both in integrated circuits and stand-alone, as in instrument probe leads and power lines.



You are responsible for material presented in lecture, including assigned reading and homework problems and any quizzes. I will not accept homework handed in outside class hours without agreement beforehand. Assignments will be posted on this web page as they are given. If you were not in class, I generally will not answer questions on material presented in class, unless you notified me beforehand (by phone, letter, e-mail or in person) that you could not attend.  Exams may be made up at mutually agreed-upon times, but only if you have notified me beforehand of an expected absence.  In the event of an emergency, one call to Dean Andy Fund's office, 532-5592, will save you contacting all your professors.


Homework Policy

Problems will be assigned daily and are due for collection the following day.  Homework turned in to the office or placed in my mailbox will not be graded.  You are encouraged to work together on homework problems, so long as you do not simply copy--this will only hurt you on the exams.

  • The homework grade percentage will be negotiated on the first day of class.

Reading will be assigned daily for the following day. Pop quizzes covering assigned reading may be held at any time. Questions will be qualitative, and easy if you have done the reading. I will not expect you to memorize equations.  Pop quiz points will count as homework.



Tentative: There will be four announced in-class hour-long exams, the average of these is 60.6% of your grade.  A cumulative final will be worth 30.3% of your grade. The cumulative average of homework and pop quizzes make up the last 9.1%.


Academic Honesty

 Kansas State University has an Honor and Integrity System based on personal integrity, which is presumed to be sufficient assurance that, in academic matters, one's work is performed honestly and without unauthorized assistance.

I expect that engineering students in my classes, as engineers in training, will adhere to this code as well as to the IEEE Code of Ethics where applicable.  Working together on homework problems is encouraged, but you are required to turn in your own solutions. Using "solutions manuals" to help you complete homework assignments, whether obtained on line, from frat files or anywhere else except directly from me, is not allowed for this class, so such use is a violation of the Honor Code.  I also require that you work alone on exams, and that you bring with you to the exam only such notes as I announce are permitted.  If you are ever unsure as to what collaboration is permitted or forbidden, please ask me!


University Policy on Disabilities

"Any student with a disability who needs a classroom accommodation, access to technology or other academic assistance in this course should contact the Student Access Center (accesscenter@k-state.edu) and/or the instructor. The SAC serves students with a wide range of disabilities including, but not limited to, physical disabilities, sensory impairments, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, depression, and anxiety."


Other Resources

  • I've put together study sheets for this class; they contain subjects I may not have covered this semester, so if a topic looks completely unfamiliar, check your notes! 
  • Here is a scan of the equations for divergence, gradient, curl and Laplacian in 3 different coordinate systems.
  • Honeywell has an entire "handbook" on Hall Effect Sensors, available as downloadable pdf files.

Smith Charts:

On-line java applet Smith Chart demos and tutorials: Amanogawa.com.

  • colour pdf: this has r and x circles and also 1/r and 1/x circles overlaid in contrasting colour.  It's more than you need, but pretty.
  • BlackMagic Smith Chart : This is the one I use generally.
  • Spread Spectrum Scene (an on-line magazine/resource center) maintains an entire website on Smith Charts that contains some history, biographical info, a large selection of downloadable Smith Charts, including one in colour, and even automated Smith Chart software.
  • Interesting applets can be found at Paul Falstad's Math/Physics site.  For EM, look especially at the Electricity and Magnetism: Statics applets, and the 2-D Electrodynamics applet.
  • More nice applets at Amanogawa.com: show traveling EM waves, polarization and reflection nicely.
  • Yet more, at Penn State Animations for Physics and Astronomy.
  • Here is an illustration of distortion of a plane wave or transmission line signal.
  • I made some little MathCAD movies (*.avi) showing standing wave reflection at different boundaries: dielectric-conductor (or short-circuit), dielectric-dielectric at with smaller and larger permittivity ratios, and "matched line": no boundary.  These should work with QuickTime or WindowsMedia.
  • Physics Web Virtual Lab maintains a list of all sorts of Java Applets demonstrating various physical phenomena.  Have fun!
  • The Ansoft Company makes software that computes both static and time-varying electromagnetic fields in various complicated geometries and circuits. They have some downloadable pictures and JPEG movies to impress you; they may help you see three-dimensional fields more easily.  Try the Maxwell 3D site for good demos to start with.


Last update: 18 January, 2017, by Ruth Douglas Miller