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Syllabus for

Academic year
RRY036 - Electromagnetic waves and components
Elektromagnetiska vågor och komponenter
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-26 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPWPS
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics

Course round 1

Teaching language: English
Application code: 29111
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: B+
Status, available places (updated regularly): Yes

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0111 Laboratory 1,5c Grading: UG   1,5c    
0211 Examination 6,0c Grading: TH   6,0c   25 Oct 2021 am J,  03 Jan 2022 pm J,  23 Aug 2022 pm J

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Pär Strand

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic knowledge in multivariable calculus and electromagnetic field theory.


The aim of the course is to enhance the student's insight into the physical concepts and principles used to describe the generation and detection of electromagnetic waves, and their propagation through different types of media.

The manipulation of electromagnetic waves in modern wireless and photonics components is highlighted. This course provides a basis for further studies in engineering branches, which rely heavily on the usage of electromagnetic waves (e.g. microwave engineering, photonics, electronic communication and remote sensing).

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • Apply Maxwell's equations to analyse and solve wave propagation problems with simple boundary conditions and interpret the results.
  • Analyse the propagation of plane and paraxial electromagnetic waves through homogeneous and inhomogeneous lossy media, how the wave reflects/refracts at dielectric and conducting boundaries, and evaluate how the wave is affected by dispersion and scattering.
  • Describe the mechanism for propagation and reflection of voltage waves along transmission lines.
  • Explain what is meant by: characteristic impedance, wave impedance, complex index of refraction, Poynting vector, phase velocity, group velocity, dispersion, and scattering.
  • Perform calculations of blackbody radiation, and emission of waves by electric dipoles.
  • Perform calculations of scattering of waves (e.g. Rayleigh and Thompson).
  • Perform calculations on the excitation of, and radiative transfer in, a medium with two-level system.
  • Describe physical mechanisms for emission and absorption of electromagnetic waves, and methods to create and detect them.
  • Use computer tools to visualize electromagnetic field phenomena and design a hologram.
  • Describe the working principles of basic photonic and microwave components, which are based on wave phenomena.
  • Perform experimental work in the photonics and microwave areas.
  • Present clearly documentation of computer based work and summarize the experimental work in written form in English.
  • Perform scientific writing in an ethically justifiable manner, eg related to plagiarism and authorship.


  • Recapitulation of basic concepts from electromagnetics and vector analysis.
  • Transmission line theory (Telegrapher's equations, characteristic impedance, reflections).
  • Introduction to waveguides.
  • Propagation of plane waves and paraxial waves in homogeneous and inhomogeneous lossy media (wave equations, Poynting vector, refraction, reflection, polarization, dispersion, absorption, scattering, diffraction).
  • Generation and detection of electromagnetic waves (Larmor formula, dipole radiation, Blackbody radiation, detection principles).
  • Excitation of a two-level system (stimulated emission, spontaneous emission, absorption, collisions, rate equations, statistical equilibrium, excitation temperature). Examples of multi-level systems. Radiative transfer equation in a homogenoeous medium with two-level systems (brightness temperature, optical depth, spectral line).


Lectures. Problem solving sessions. Non-mandatory hand-ins. Mandatory Laboratory exercises (computer simulations and experimental work). A compulsory lecture on Academic Integrity.
The theory part and laboratory work comprise 6.0 and 1.5 credits, respectively.


To be determined.

Examination including compulsory elements

Written Exam. Reports of laboratory exercises. Attending the compulsory lecture on academic integrity.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.