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Relativistic Electrodynamics


Admission Requirements

First 3 semesters of the Bachelor Programme plus Classical Electrodynamics


A course on relativistic electrodynamics, that will take you into the exciting interplay between Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism and special relativty, making you appreciate the roles of Lorentz symmetry and gauge invariance. Starting from the principle of relativity, and the consequent theory of special relativity, we discuss the relativistic description of electromagnetism and related transformations, eventually reformulating electrodynamics in its tensorial formulation.


– Special Theory of Relativity – Lorentz Transformations and spacetime formulation – Relativistic Mechanics – Transformation of the electromagnetic field – Tensorial formulation of electrodynamics – Relativistic Potentials and gauge freedom

Course objectives

After completion of this course, you are able to: – Solve special relativity problems that include time dilation, length contraction and the relativity of simultaneity – Lorentz transforming between inertial reference frames – Solve problems of relativistic mechanics – Handle covariant formulation of Maxwell's equations – Fix gauges – Lorentz transform the electromagnetic field tensor, current density 4-vector and potential 4-vector – Solve for the relativistic motion of charges in electromagnetic fields – Solve for the electromagnetic field and potentials generated by a charge in motion


For detailed information go to Timetable in Brightspace

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For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

See Brightspace

Assessment method

Written final exam.

Reading list

Introduction to Electrodynamics D.J.Griffiths, Prentice Hall, third edition, 1999; ISBN 0-13-481367-7
Different editions permitted. Additional reading material provided during the course.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.
Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Lecturer: Dr. S.P. Patil (Subodh)