14:332:481 Electromagnetic Waves

Course Catalog Description: 

14:332:481 Electromagnetic Waves (3)
To introduce the theory and concepts of electromagnetic waves, transmission lines, and antennas, and their practical applications.

Pre-Requisite Courses: 


Pre-Requisite by Topic: 

1. Electromagnetic Fields
2. Differential Calculus
3. Integral Calculus
4. Matrices and Determinants

Textbook & Materials: 

M. N. O. Sadiku, Elements of Electromagnetics, 4th edition, Prentice-Hall, 2007.

S. J. Orfanidis, Electromagnetic Waves and Antennas, online book, 2011, available freely from:

Overall Educational Objective: 

To introduce the student to the theory and concepts of electromagnetic waves, transmission lines, and antennas, and their practical applications, to study the propagation, reflection, and transmission of plane waves, and the analysis and design of multilayer films, to study waveguides, transmission lines, and impedance matching, and to learn basic antenna concepts.

Course Learning Outcomes: 

A student who successfully fulfills the course requirements will have demonstrated:
1. An in depth analysis of the solutions and physical Interpretation of Maxwell's equations in the static, steady state and dynamic regimes.
2. An ability to write the constitutive relations and solve the wave equation in both isotropic and anisoropic media.
3. An in depth understanding of polarization and its applications; as well as the theory and design of polarizers, optical transformers, retarders, etc.
4. An in depth analysis of the propagation of plane waves in lossless and lossy dielectric and conducting media.
5. An ability to design devices using the reflective and transmissive properties of media with multiple interfaces.
6. An in depth analysis of transmission lines and their parameters using the Smith Chart for time-harmonic, transient and pulse propagation.
7. An ability to analyze and design rectangular waveguides and understand the propagation of electromagnetic waves, including propagation in dielectric waveguides and optical fibers.
8. An understanding of basic antenna concepts, such as gain, directivity, Friis formula for communicating antennas and radar, antenna noise temperature.

How Course Outcomes are Assessed: 

  • HW Problems (10 %)
  • Two Mid-Term Exams (60 %)
  • Final Exam (30 %)

  • N = none S = Supportive H = highly related



    Proficiency assessed by

    (a) an ability to apply knowledge of Mathematics, science, and engineering


    HW Problems, Projects, Exams

    (b) an ability to design and conduct experiments and interpret data


    Design problems in HW, Projects and Exams

    (c) an ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability


    Design Projects

    (d) an ability to function as part of a multi-disciplinary team


    (e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve ECE problems


    HW Problems, Projects, Exams

    (f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility


    Lectures, Projects

    (g) an ability to communicate in written and oral form


    HW Problems, Project Presentation

    (h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of electrical and computer engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context



    (i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning


    Lectures, subsequent courses

    (j) a knowledge of contemporary issues



    (k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for electrical and computer engineering practice


    HW and Design Projects

    Basic disciplines in Electrical Engineering


    HW, Projects, Exams

    Depth in Electrical Engineering


    HW, Projects, Exams

    Basic disciplines in Computer Engineering


    Depth in Computer Engineering


    Laboratory equipment and software tools


    MATLAB and EESoft

    Variety of instruction formats


    Lectures, Problem sessions, Office hour discussions, Project Presentations

Topics Covered week by week: 

Week 1: Review of Maxwell’s equations; constitutive relations and conductivity; complex algebra and phasors; time-harmonic fields and time averages.
Week 2: The wave equation in isotropic media: free space, lossless media and lossy media.
Week 3: The wave equation in isotropic media: uncharged and charged media; conducting and non-conducting media.
Week 4: Polarization: linear, circular, and elliptical; handedness and helicity.
Week 5: Mid-term Exam. Time-harmonic waves.
Week 6: Electromagnetic wave characteristics; plane waves in lossless and lossy media.
Week 7: Power, Poynting theorem and Poynting Vector.
Week 8: Boundary conditions; reflection and transmission coefficients; standing-wave ratio; power relations at the interface.
Week 9: Reflections and transmissions at multiple interfaces; quarter- and half-wavelength transformers; Snell’s laws; Fresnel’s equations; critical angle, Brewster’s angle; total internal reflection.
Week 10: Mid-term Exam. Transmission line parameters; transmission line equations; transient and pulse propagation.
Week 11: Impedances; reflection coefficient, VSWR and Power; Smith chart; cascaded transmission
Week 12: Rectangular waveguides; TE and TM modes; wave propagation in waveguides.
Week 13: Dielectric losses and conduction losses, TE10 mode.
Week 14: Basic antenna concepts.
Week 15: Final Examination

Computer Usage: 

Simulations using MATLAB and EESoft.

Design Experiences: 

~60% Homework problems are design-oriented problems.

Independent Learning Experiences : 

1. Home-Work, 2. Design Projects 3. Exams

Contribution to the Professional Component: 

(a) College-level mathematics and basic sciences: 0.25 credit hours
(b) Engineering Topics (Science and/or Design): 2.75 credit hours
(c) General Education: 0 credit hours
Total credits: 3

Prepared by: 
April, 2011