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NUS Physics Module Review: PC2131 Electricity & Magnetism I

Perhaps the easiest of the 2XXX Physics series thanks to the strong foundation in EM that 1143 develops. Really most of it is repeated content, but in vector calculus; where earlier you had to use tricks to evaluate tricky surface integrals in one dimension, now you just don’t care and evaluate the double integral. Counterintuitively, the module is (in my opinion) a little easier to understand because of the more abstract mathematics, not least because vector calculus is the natural language of electromagnetism.

The two completely new chapters are on the fields in matter. Personally, I think it is good to re-read a good textbook until you can clearly visualise what is going on in matter and why these bound currents and charges appear in the way they do. Dr. Jose will recommend that you read Griffiths cover to cover, and I agree with him. Jackson gets a lot of hate for being unreadable, but I think it’s a good supplement for the places where Griffiths just hand-waves over stuff and asks you to accept it “as-is”.

The assignments shouldn’t be excessively difficult, nor the exam or the midterms if you are well prepared (which is somewhat rare for a PC module).

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