MATH 337
Electricity and Magnetism for Mathematicians Fall 2017
Division III Quantative/Formal Reasoning
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Class Details

Maxwell’s equations are four simple formulas, linking electricity and magnetism, that are among the most profound equations ever discovered. These equations led to the prediction of radio waves, to the realization that a description of light is also contained in these equations and to the discovery of the special theory of relativity. In fact, almost all current descriptions of the fundamental laws of the universe are deep generalizations of Maxwell’s equations. Perhaps even more surprising is that these equations and their generalizations have led to some of the most important mathematical discoveries (where there is no obvious physics) of the last 25 years. For example, much of the math world was shocked at how these physics generalizations became one of the main tools in geometry from the 1980s until today. It seems that the mathematics behind Maxwell is endless. This will be an introduction to Maxwell’s equations, from the perspective of a mathematician.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: none
Expected: 15
Class#: 1732
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based primarily on performance on homework and exams
Prerequisites: MATH 250; no physics background required
Distributions: Division III Quantative/Formal Reasoning

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