Electricity and Magnetism

Boris Podobedov, PhD

Electricity and magnetism(E&M for short) are vital to our modern world. Without them we would still be warming ourselves with open fires and would not enjoy the many electrical and electronic devices we take for granted every day. Imagine a world without television, electric lights, computers, internet or airconditioning.

Yet without an understanding of E&M, none of these inventions would have ever been possible.While thorough study of E&M requires considerable time and mathematical background, an amazing amount of insight can be gained from simple experiments, especially if these are done with objects (or study the effects) that surround us every day. After all this is how it all started; think of Ben Franklin’s studies of static and lightning in the 1700s or Alessandro Volta’s first battery.

This workshop will introduce the students to some basic E&M principles through such simple experiments and it will emphasize hands-on exploration. Students will learn the basics (or sharpen their skills) with electrical test and measurement gear, as well as learn how to “guestimate” the magnitude of some basic E&M effects.