Classical Electromagnetism - 1 (Electrostatics)


Course Description

This course will be offered in Hindi and will be free of cost.

Three lectures will be released every week, generally one on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The lectures can be viewed at any time during the course duration. Four multiple-choice quizzes will be held for evaluation.


Course Content


  • Coulomb's law and its limitation, Electrostatic charge distribution, Linear, surface, and volume charge distributions. Use of Dirac delta function to describe point charges, linear charges and surface charges, vector expressions for electric field due to different kinds of charge distributions.
  • Spherical and Cylindrical coordinates, line element, surface element, and volume element. Evaluation of electric field using such coordinate systems.
  • Gauss's law in differential form, Concept of divergence, Expressions in Cartesian, spherical and cylindrical coordinates, Evaluation of charge density from the electric field, Integral form of Gauss's law, calculation of electric field for planer, spherically and cylindrically symmetric charge distributions. 
  • Electric potential energy and potential, Concepts of Curl and gradient, Relation between E and V, Potential due to a continuous charge distribution, Energy in electric field, Boundary conditions on electric field across a surface. 
  • Multipole expansion of potential. Monopole, Electric dipole moment, Field due to a dipole, force, and torque due to E-field on a dipole, Quadrupole moment of a charge distribution. 
  • Charge distribution on conductors, Cavities in a conductor, capacitors. 
  • Laplace and Poisson's equations, Properties of solutions of Laplace equation, Uniqueness theorems.
  • Method of images, general theory, charge in front of conductors of different shapes.
  • Dielectrics, Polarization P in a dielectric, Bound and free charges, Relation with polarization, Electric
  • field due to a uniformly polarized sphere, Electrical susceptibility.
  • Displacement vector D, Gauss's law in terms of D, Boundary conditions on D. 

Target audience

B.Sc., and M.Sc., students, Physics Teachers teaching at UG, PG level, People interested in Physics/Math's background.


Participants will be given certificates from the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE), IIT Kanpur, depending on the performance.