Our intention for the site is plain and simple: provide electrodynamic problems with solutions. We hope that the information may help one or the other to understand photonics. We believe that the best way to achieve this is to solve problems and have their solutions at hand. We also take the chance to supply additional information in the background section for most of the problems. This might be an explanation of a related research topic or more in-depth information. We hope you enjoy your path to understand photonics!
Understanding Photonics: Practice makes Perfect
Nature is beautiful - the dew on the grass in spring with all those spectacular reflections, the beautiful colors during a sunset or the curly structures that appear on a flowing lake. Fortunately we live in a time where we can understand, at least phenomenologically, some of the laws that govern those fascinating phenomena.
Maxwell's equations are the laws of electromagnetism. They helped us to uncover the link between electric and magnetic fields, build electronic and telecommunication devices, admire earth's magnetosphere, ..., and some of us are lucky to have a better sight every day. Of course, all of this progress does not come without effort. Electrodynamics (or electromagnetism) takes some semester to study but probably a lifetime to understand.
The reason is that understanding takes practice and sufficient practice is hard work. But its worth it: the vast amount of knowledge we learn and the methods we acquire during our studies are the backbone of our everyday life as academics. Without knowing them thoroughly we will never be able to do any advanced stuff.
So, let's do this, let's try to understand electrodynamics solving some problems. Let's perform calculations in detail to make connections absolutely clear. Let us find out about current research that is related to the different subjects to see where we are heading!
The site now contains different courses but the general structure of each course is very much the same to keep things consistent and simple. For example for our electrodynamics coursewe have roughly grouped the different fields of the topic in the menu on the left side. The order mimics university courses on electrodynamics/electromagnetics as tought in physics, electrical engineering and related studies: we start with electrostatics with certain subcategories like charge configurations and their respective electric fields and end with the full Maxwell equations, i.e. in relativistic electrodynamics. In each subcategory you may find a number of electrodynamic problems with hints and solutions. Furthermore, if we think we can provide some useful background information from current research, we outline it in a background paragraph in the problem directly or in the blog. We sincerely hope that we can somehow transport the fascination we feel for the topic in these articles.
The person responsible for this site is Robert Filter. He is was a PhD student at the Institute of Condensed Matter Theory and Solid State Optics which belongs to the Abbe Center of Photonics, at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, Germany. Nevertheless there are a lot of different contributors to the site that make it much more broad and useful than Robert could have imagined in the first place. (Maybe you also would like to share your knowledge?)
It must be stated clearly that the site is a private initiative and does not reflect any official opinion neither of the institute or the university Robert was affiliated with.
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If you like the idea to help others in learning by doing providing explicit problems in electrodynamics with solutions and/or can give an interesting background i.e. as a researcher, please don't hesitate to write us any kind of suggestion. Details can be found here