Applied Electromagnetic Theory: Radio Waves and High Frequency Circuits

Physics 432 & General Science 526

4 credits (3:3:3)

East Stroudsburg University - Course Syllabus – Spring 2006


Lecture: Monday, Tuesday,and  Thursday (Friday in 4th Q)  at 2 pm in              Gessner 118

Lab: Friday 2 pm – 5 pm (if you need extra time the room will be available).      Gessner 120

Office Hours:  posted outside physics office, my office and on internet                Gessner 203

Section number is S093

Website for instructor   :

Webstite for the Course:


Course Instructor:         Dr. David A. Larrabee

Location:                      Gessner 203

Telephone:                    ex. 3292


Catalog Course Description

Physics 432: This course will apply of Maxwell’s equations to the propagation of electromagnetic waces in free space, wave guides and coaxial cables.  The transmission line equation will be developed and analyzed for the case of real practicable transmission lines.  Maxwell’s equations will be used to analyze antennas.

Prerequisite Courses:  Phys 161, 162, 431 and Math 341         Prerequisites Class Standing:  None

Course Objectives

This course has five objectives:

1) To develop an understanding of the principles of electromagnetic radiation.

2) To understand the physics and operation of wave guides, coaxial cables, and transmission lines.

3) To understand the physics and operation of  transmitting and receiving antennas.

4) To be able to calculate the important parameters of a system using waveguides, coaxial cables, transmission lines, and antennas (as well as other “circuit elements” like stub tuners).

5) To be able to use the concept of a scattering matric to calculate how an RF system might function

6) To be able to use a smith chart as a usefull tool.

7) to be able to design simple RF configurations (like the feed line and antenna for a transmitter).

Required Materials

Texts –“Lines, Waves and Antennas” by Robert Grover Brown et al.  John Wiley and Sons, Second edition © 1973.

            Schey, h. m., div grad curl and all that  W.W. Norton & co Ó 1997

Suggested References that you should seriously consider adding to your library

CRC Standard Mathematical Tables, by the CRC Press

Dwight, Herbert Bristol Tables of Integrals and other Mathematical Data The Macmillan Company.

The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications Published annually by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).


Supplies - Scientific calculator, some standard math tables (for looking up integrals, derivatives and the like see above), a list of physical constants (from an old physics text, the list on for sale in the Campus store, or even the Handbook of Physics and Chemistry).  You will be doing a lot of computations involving complex numbers.  Having a calculator that allows you to enter complex numbers directly and do operations on them (including trig, powers, etc,) will make your life considerably easier.

Required Additional "Readings" - will be passed out in class.

General Information

Absenteeism - I will take attendance.  I will reduce your grade 1 letter grade for every 5 sessions missed (including labs). (i.e. you get 4 “free” absences).

If you are absent, you are still responsible for all the work.  You need to make arrangements to get homework to me and to get the assignments for the following classes.  You can get in contact with me by telephone, leave a message on the answering machine, or leave a message at school. Email and packet addresses are also given at the top of this syllabus.  You will not be allowed to make up any quizzes due to absenteeism (see below).

Academic Honesty: Cheating on the exams or homework, plagiarism, stealing, lying, computer theft, and all other forms of academic dishonesty are totally unacceptable.  I will take any incident of academic dishonesty very seriously.  Simply put, I expect that when you hand in an individual assignment it is your own work.  If you are unsure if it is your own work or not, it probably isn't.  You should feel free to discuss the material with anyone, share ideas, ask for help and advise, but do your own work.

I do not consider doing homework with a classmate where you each do all the work cheating.  In fact this can be a valuable aid to learning the material.  But if you both don't understand what you are doing you will probably flunk the exams and the course.  If one student does another students assignment for them, then both are being dishonest.  In such a case (if caught) both students will be subject to the full disciplinary measures available to me.  You may not simply copy another students homework.  Neither shall you copy text out of the textbook without quoting the text.  In general all assignments should be in your own words.

Assignments - see Homework

Cell Phones – If you have a cell phone turn it off before you enter class.  If for some reason you must have a cell phone on during class I will ask that you: 1) obtain my prior permission, 2) have it set on vibration mode so it does not disturb class by ringing and 3) go outside the classroom to answer the phone.

If you answer the cell phone during a quiz or test that will end the quiz or test (for you).  If you need to have an exception to this rule you need to obtain my permission before the test or quiz.  NO EXCEPTIONS. (Please not waste class time by asking for permission for this during the start of class!).

Communications – Please not that we have a course web site (see top of the syllabus).  Information about the course will be posted to the website.  If you have questions please email me.  I will maintain a course distribution list of Emails.  When there is relavent information (like grades are posted) I will do a mailing to this distribution list.  If you want to be on the distribution list, email me and ask to be put on the list.  I will then add the Email address from which the Email came. 

Examination dates - I am planning one midterm exam and a comprehensive final exam.  All exams will be in class, open book and open notes.  The planned due dates for the exams are:

            Mid Term  Exam          Friday March 10  from 1 pm to 5 pm.

                                              (if first exams grades are low a second midterm may be offered).

            Final Exam                   May 9th 2 pm Gessner 118

These exams are open book, open notes, open reference materials, you may use calculators, computers, etc.  You must do your own work however.

Final Exam - The final exam will cover all the material in the course (i.e. a comprehensive exam) open book, open notes, open reference materials, you may use calculators, computers, etc.  You must do your own work however.

Grading Requirements:

You final grade is a weighted average of the following

            Labwork                                  25%

            Homework (see note)               10%

            Quizes (see note)                      10%

            Midterm                                   20%

            Final                                         35%    

The letter grade percentages are defined by

A      90  -100

B      80  -  89

C      70  -  79

D      60  -  69

F         0  -  59

There is however two exceptions to the computation of the final grade.  1)  If you fail the final exam you fail the course.  2) lack of attendance can reduce your grade, see the attendance policy

Grievance Procedures: If you have a complaint, suggestion or comment, please contact me.  Then if this does not resolve the situation see Prof. Buckley who is the chair of the Department of Physics.

Homework:  I assign and grade homework.  I expect homework to be handed in on time.  The due date for the homework will be established when the homework is passed out.  Homework will not be accepted after the due date, (unless prior arrangements have been made).

It is strongly suggested that the student start the homework as soon as they receive the assignment.  Some of the problems may require experimentation on the part of the student.  You may find that it is not possible to do some of the exercises at the last minute.

The output of MathCad, Mathematica or other symbolic math solvers will not be accepted as an answer for a homework problem.  If you wish to use this software to check your answer go right ahead.  On the homework I expect a solution worked out with each step fully explained IN ENGLISH!

Lab:  You are expected to be in the Laboratory during Lab hours (Thursday 1-4 pm).  Failure to attend the laboratory will result in a 25% reduction in the grade of the Laboratory (multiplicative).  If you need more time you may get access to the laboratory during the following week.  However all lab results are due when stated.  I will not accept late laboratory reports unless PRIOR arrangements have been made.  There may also be work that needs to be accomplished before you start the laboratory (A Pre-Lab).  The Laboratory may not be started until the Pre-Lab is finished.   Failure to accomplish a Pre-Lab on time will result in a 25% reduction in the grade of the Laboratory. Should this also result in the student being excluded for even part of the laboratory this will be an additional 25% reduction in the grade of the laboratory (multiplicative). 

Note:  I expect that the laboratory to be cleaned up after use.  Failure to clean up the laboratory will result in a reduction of the Laboratory grade of up to 25% (multiplicative).  At the end of the term failure to return the laboratory to a clean state will result in the grade of I until the laboaratory is cleaned.                                                                                  

Lateness - I'll start the class on time.  If you're late you'll miss what was presented. Please be punctual, it disturbs the rest of the class if your routinely late.  Being on time is a courtesy to the rest of your classmates as well as to the professor.  In cases of habitual lateness I reserve the right to lock the room and deny access to students who are late.  If a person is late this will count as ˝ of an absence.

Lecture:  During class sections we will; have formal lectures, have discussions, have class demonstrations, review homework and tests, and of course take quizzes and tests.  Much (but not all) of the lecture will be taken from material that is covered in the text.  The student is responsible for all material discussed in class, even if not covered in the text.  If you read the text ahead of time you will know what is covered and what isn't.  Thus you will only need to take notes on what is not covered in the text. 

Makeup tests, homework, and quizzes  - If you are going to be absent for a test you will need to notify me before the test and make arrangements for the makeup test or assignment.  I'll need a good reason.  If you have one I'll assign the makeup work.  If an emergency arises you will need to contact me as soon as is prudent.  Under no circumstances will homework be accepted after the answers are posted, or will quizzes be allowed to be made up.

Mathematics:  Physics is a quantitative science.  Electrodynamics is one of the more mathematical sub fields of physics.  There is no way for us to avoid advanced calculus and I have no intention of even trying. We will use the physics to guide our development of the mathematical concepts.  We will briefly review the mathematical theory underlying what we have done physically.  This course has rerequisits in mathematics.  This is because the course utilizes this level of mathematics withing the course from the beginning of the course.

Asking that I teach the physics and mathematics covered in the prerequisite courses, as well as the physics in this course is in my opinion, an unreasonable request of the studemt.  This is doubly true if I am asked to take lecture time to cover the mathematical material within the prerequisites.

Plagarism: - (see academic honesty above)

Quizzes.  There may be unannounced random quizzes.  I will drop the lowest two quiz grades.  Quizes will not be made up (the first two misses are free). The use of cell phone is prohibited during quizzes (see section on cell phones)

Reading;  There is the possibility that outside readings may be assigned.

Review Sessions.   Review sessions for the tests can be scheduled in the evenings if requested by the class.  Otherwise please see me during office hours or schedule an appointment.

Retention of Student Material.  Student exams and homework assignments and other course materials will be kept for 1 term after the term that the student takes this course.  Thus all homework, exams, finals, etc. may be destroyed any time after finals week in the Fall of 2006.

Special Needs Students:  If you have some special need, or if there is something I could do that would help you be more successful in this class I would appreciate your coming to talk to me.  It is my desire that you all do well.  I am dedicated to helping you where I can.  So do not be nervous about asking if we can accommodate you in some way.  I promise you that I will listen, and do what I can.

Tests - There will be at least one midterms and a comprehensive final.  The mid term and final will be  open book open notes exams.

Text and Assigned Readings: I expect you to read the relevant chapters in the book before the lecture so you are ready to ask me questions about things you didn't understand.  You are responsible for all the material covered in the assigned readings even if it isn't "covered" in lecture.  Students that have questions about the readings are encouraged to ask questions in class, so that everyone can benefit from your questions.

Furthermore in an advanced physics class of this kind the student is expected to go over the mathematical derivations within the text by actually performing all algebra, calculus etc for themselves.  It is my professional opinion that unless the student performs this work for themselves he or she WILL NOT UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL.

If I feel this is not bring done I may assign this for homework.


We are all coming to this course with some purpose and some expectations.  If we work together we can achieve those aims.  This requires that both professor and student “take on” certain responsibilities.  It is probably futile to attempt to list every task and responsibility (and not necessary). 

The first and most important responsibility of every member of this class (including the professor) is to be polite, courteous, and respectful of any other class member, any guests in the room (students, professors, administrative personnel, etc.), and the professor.  There will be no discussion on this matter.  I reserve to the right to drop any student who is disrespectful, rude or inconsiderate of any class member, guest, or of the professor.  This is as applicable on the first day in class as it is during the final exam!

Here is a list of some common sense responsibilities.  If you have any additional needs or suggestions, please feel free to communicate them to me.  At the very least we will be able to talk about them.

Responsibilities of the Professor

1)   To treat class members fairly, humanly, and honestly.  To treat you as capable adults.

2)   Answer all questions to the best of my ability when asked, or if I do not know the answer, to get an answer before the next class period.

3)   To cover the syllabus as outlined, or to inform the class ahead of time of any deviations.

4)   To return homework, quizzes, tests, and any other collected material that is to be returned within one week of receiving them.

5)   To provide aid to any student who is having problems and requires my assistance, either during office hours or during a previously scheduled meeting.

6)   To act professionally (come to class on time, prepared, act in a courteous and friendly manner, ...)

7)   To maintain order and civility in the classroom.

8)   To answer any question about a students performance and grades directly and in private.

9)   To have material on reserve and on the network within 48 hours of its being presented in class.

Responsibilities of the Student

1)   To act civil to your fellow students and professors.  Hostility, acts of humiliation or intimidation of others will not be tolerated.  This will be grounds for the professor dropping the student from the course.

2)   To come to the class prepared.  This includes reading the assigned material, doing all assigned work and being prepared to raise questions about the material that you do not understand.  It also includes bringing; your calculator, and writing implements to every class.

3)   To participate in the class.  Both by being alert, and by sharing your insights and questions with the rest of us.

4)   To turn in homework, quizzes, tests, and any other assignments on time.

5)  To communicate to the professor when you need help.  I am not a mind reader.  It is sometimes hard to tell if the expression on your face is due to being bored to death, or that you are hopelessly lost.   I am interested in helping, all you have to do is tell me you need help!

6)  When we uncover a weakness in your understanding (in the course or a prerequisite course) It is your responsibility to work on that weakness so it is no longer an obstacle for doing the work in this course.

Preliminary Class Schedule

(This schedule is an estimate of how the course will proceed.  Items may be added, deleted, modified or moved as needs arise. )




Class Topics



Jan 17

1 & 2

Math and Circuit review.

Introduction to Energy Transmission

General Equations and Solution for Transmission Lines



Jan 23


General Equations and Solution for Transmission Lines



Jan 30


Graphical Aids to Transmission-Line Analysis



Feb 6


Transmission Line Matching



Feb 13


Matrix Representation of Transmission-Line Circuits



Feb 20


Transmission line as a circuit element



Feb 27

6 & 7

Transmission line as a circuit element

The Field equations



Mar 6


The Field equations (continued)

Exam #1 is on Friday



Mar 13


Spring Break



Mar 20


Propagation of Plane waves



Mar 27


Guided Waves



April 3


Resonant Cavities



April 10


The Waveguide as a Circuit element



April 17


Radiation of Electromagnetic Waves



April 24


Radiation of Electromagnetic Waves



May 1


Special topic to be announced.



May 9



Final 2-4 pm Tuesday May 9th Gessner 118


(1)   There is no Monday class this week, there is a quiz on Friday.

(2)   There is no Monday or Tuesday classes and Wednesday is a Switch day (Monday classes). 

(3)   I may be absent on March 24th (If a paper is accepted at a conference)

(4)   There is no class on Thursday and Friday so there will be no Friday or Monday Quizz.