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ECE 3317. Prof. D. R. Wilton. Notes 13 Maxwell’s Equations. Adapted from notes by Prof. Stuart A. Long. Electromagnetic Fields. Four vector quantities E electric field strength [Volt/meter] = [kg-m/sec 3 ] D electric flux density [Coul/meter 2 ] = [Amp-sec/m 2 ]

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ECE 3317

Prof. D. R. Wilton

Notes 13 Maxwell’s Equations

Adapted from notes by Prof. Stuart A. Long

electromagnetic fields
Electromagnetic Fields

Four vector quantities

E electric field strength [Volt/meter] = [kg-m/sec3]

D electric flux density [Coul/meter2] = [Amp-sec/m2]

Hmagnetic field strength [Amp/meter] = [Amp/m]

B magnetic flux density [Weber/meter2] or [Tesla] = [kg/Amp-sec2]

each are functions of space and time


J electric current density [Amp/meter2]

ρv electric charge density [Coul/meter3] = [Amp-sec/m3]

Sources generating electromagnetic fields

mks units
length – meter [m]

mass – kilogram [kg]

time – second [sec]

MKS units

Some common prefixes and the power of ten each represent are listed below

femto - f - 10-15

pico - p - 10-12

nano - n - 10-9

micro - μ - 10-6

milli - m - 10-3

mega - M - 106

giga - G - 109

tera - T - 1012

peta - P - 1015

centi - c - 10-2

deci - d - 10-1

deka - da - 101

hecto - h - 102

kilo - k - 103

maxwell s equations
Maxwell’s Equations

(time-varying, differential form)

maxwell s equations1
Maxwell’s Equations

James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879)

James Clerk Maxwell was a Scottish mathematician and theoretical physicist. His most significant achievement was the development of the classical electromagnetic theory, synthesizing all previous unrelated observations, experiments and equations of electricity, magnetism and even optics into a consistent theory. His set of equations—Maxwell's equations—demonstrated that electricity, magnetism and even light are all manifestations of the same phenomenon: the electromagnetic field. From that moment on, all other classical laws or equations of these disciplines became simplified cases of Maxwell's equations. Maxwell's work in electromagnetism has been called the "second great unification in physics", after the first one carried out by Isaac Newton.

Maxwell demonstrated that electric and magnetic fields travel through space in the form of waves, and at the constant speed of light. Finally, in 1864 Maxwell wrote A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field where he first proposed that light was in fact undulations in the same medium that is the cause of electric and magnetic phenomena. His work in producing a unified model of electromagnetism is considered to be one of the greatest advances in physics.


maxwell s equations cont
Maxwell’s Equations (cont.)

(Time-varying, integral form)

Faraday’s law

Ampere’s law

Magnetic Gauss law

Electric Gauss law

The above are the most fundamental form of Maxwell’s equations since all differential forms, all boundary forms, and all frequency domain forms derive from them!

maxwell s equations cont1
Maxwell’s Equations (cont.)

(Time-varying, differential form)

Faraday’s law

Ampere’s law

Magnetic Gauss law

Electric Gauss law


Law of Conservation of Electric Charge (Continuity Equation)

Flow of electric current out of volume (per unit volume)

Rate of decrease of electric charge (per unit volume)


Continuity Equation (cont.)



Integrate both sides over an arbitrary volume V:

Apply the divergence theorem:


Continuity Equation (cont.)



Physical interpretation:

(This assumes that the surface is stationary.)



Maxwell’s Equations

Time-harmonic (phasor) domain


Constitutive Relations

Characteristics of media relate Dto E and Hto B

Free Space

c = 2.99792458  108 [m/s]

(exact value that is defined)


Constitutive Relations (cont.)

Free space, in the phasor domain:

This follows from the fact that

(where a is a real number)


Constitutive Relations (cont.)

In a material medium:

r = relative permittivity

r = relative permittivity



μ or ε Independent of Dependent on

space homogenous inhomogeneous

frequency non-dispersive dispersive

time stationary non-stationary

field strength linear non-linear

direction of isotropic anisotropic

Eor H


Isotropic Materials

ε (or μ) is a scalar quantity,

which means that E|| D(and H|| B)






Anisotropic Materials

ε (or μ) is a tensor (can be written as a matrix)

This results in Eand DbeingNOTparallel to each other; they are in different directions.