6.641 Electromagnetic Fields, Forces, and Motion

Spring 2005

Diagram of a magnetohydrodynamic generator.
Magnetohydrodynamic generator from the 2003 final exam (PDF). The C-core magnetic circuit is excited by a field coil that carries a current and has a rectangular channel with moving conductive fluid that passes through the magnetic circuit gap. (Image by Prof. Markus Zahn.)

Course Highlights

This course features a complete set of downloadable problem sets and solutions in the assignments section. In addition, the course features exams with solutions for multiple years in the exams section.

This course also features three online textbooks, one of which has video demonstrations related to electromagnetism concepts.

Course Description

6.641 examines electric and magnetic quasistatic forms of Maxwell's equations applied to dielectric, conduction, and magnetization boundary value problems. Topics covered include: electromagnetic forces, force densities, and stress tensors, including magnetization and polarization; thermodynamics of electromagnetic fields, equations of motion, and energy conservation; applications to synchronous, induction, and commutator machines; sensors and transducers; microelectromechanical systems; propagation and stability of electromechanical waves; and charge transport phenomena.


The instructor would like to thank Thomas Larsen for transcribing into LaTeX selected homework problems, homework solutions, and exams.

Special Features

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .rm.

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Prof. Markus Zahn

Course Meeting Times

2 sessions / week
1 hour / session

2 sessions / week
1 hour / session



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