ECEN 3410, Electromagnetic Waves, Spring 2015


Weekly updates (April 24, 2015):


-          Project 6 (assigned on April 13) is due on Monday, April 27: Project6-ECEN3410-S2015.pdf

-          In exchange for the Project 5 extension, please take 5min to fill out the FCQs. You should receive the request electronically on April 17.

-          Link to program for antenna analysis: and tutorial for the program: MMANA-GAL Tutorial.pdf

-          Last week of classes is reserved for review. Please bring up things you would like us to cover.

-          The final exam is scheduled on May 5th (Tuesday) from 1:30pm – 4pm. It will have the same format as the midterm with 5 questions and 4 problems.


Assignments and other material, in order of posting:

-          Chapter 18 - Transmission Lines.pdf

-          Popovic-Ch19-MaxwellsEquations.pdf

-          Popovic-Ch21-UniformPlaneWaves.pdf. The corresponding chapter sections in the Notaros textbook are: 9.11 (Skin effect) and 9.1-9.5 (plane waves).

-          Chapter 22 - Reflection and Refraction of Plane Waves.pdf

-          Project1-ECEN3410-S2015.pdf

-          Popovic-Ch20-SkinEffect.pdf    

-          Project2-ECEN3410-S2015.pdf

-          Project3-ECEN3410-S2015.pdf

-          PracticeMidterm.pdf

-          StudyQuestions-ECEN3410-S2015.pdf

-          Project4-ECEN3410-S2015.pdf

-          Lecture on S-parameters and microstrip summary: ECEN3410-S2015-ExtraLectureNotes-Feb25.pdf

-          Project5-ECEN3410-S2015.pdf

-          DielectricWaveguides-ECEN3410-S2015.pdf, Scan-HaytBuck-Fibers.pdf, Hayt-2.pdf 

-          Chapter 23 - Waveguides and Resonators.pdf, Appendices and Index.pdf

-          Matlab code for microstrip:   microstrip.m  Smith chart: smith11.pdf

-          Midterm problems will cover material from your homework projects and the following examples (some are repeats) from the Notaros textbook: Chapter 9 (4,6-9,11,13,15,16,17,19,20,23); Chapter 10 (1,2,3,5,15,1618,19,21,22,23,24); Chapter 11 (3,8,17), Chapter 12 (1-3,8,9,11,13,15-18,20,23,24,26,29,32,33,37-39)



General Class Information:

Classes: MWF, noon-1pm, ECEE 254

Instructor: Prof. Zoya Popovic (ECOT-252), Office hours: Monday: 3:30-4:30pm, Tuesday 2-4pm.


Recommended textbook: B. Notaros, Electromagnetics, Pearson, 2011.

Additional material will be provided when needed.

Background text (free): Introductory Electromagnetics, Popovic and Popovic, on ECEN3400 web page

Some other good books will be kept in my office and you can borrow them for a few hours if you wish:

D. Cheng, Fundamentals of Engineering Electromagnetics, Addison Wesley.

Ramo, Whinnery and Van Duzer, Fields and Waves in Communication Electronics, Wiley.  (higher level)


Grading (preliminary)

Homework projects: 50%

Midterm: 25%

Final exam: 35%

*Note that the total is 110%, and the grade is based on 100% (built-in curve)

Homework projects will be due approximately every two weeks. Start working on each project as soon as it is assigned, since it covers at least two weeks worth of material. You are supposed to do these individually, without collaboration or help.


Copying other students’ work, or letting other students copy your work is considered dishonest and if proven will result in and F in the course. I am sure you have already been told that this is for your own good.

Schedule (approximate)

Below is the approximate class and homework schedule for the semester. It will be updated as needed, so please check periodically.



Class Topics

Homework projects

Due Date

Week 1


Introduction, review of Maxwell’s equations, boundary conditions, wave equation

Project 1 assigned 

(wave equation, plane waves)


Week 2


No class on Jan.19 (MLK)

Skin effect, uniform plane waves  



Week 3


Uniform plane waves: reflection and refraction, example devices

Project 1 due

Project 2 assigned

(reflection and refraction of plane waves)


Week 4


Non-uniform plane waves: coaxial line  



Week 4


Coaxial line: devices, Smith chart analysis  

Project 2 due

Project 3 assigned

(coaxial lines)


Week 5


Finish coaxial lines


Study handout for Midterm 1


Week 6


Quasi-TEM lines:

Microstrip and CPW

Project 3 due



Week 7


Microstrip: example circuits and circuit design methods

Project 4 assigned

(microstrip and CPW)



Week 8


TEM modes

Rectangular metallic waveguides; TE and TM modes

Practice midterm handout


Week 9


Midterm (Monday, March 16)

Metallic waveguides: example devices; resonators


Project 4 due



Week 10


Spring break, no classes or assignments

Week 12


Dielectric waveguides: slabs and fibers    

  Project 5 assigned (waveguides)


Week 13


Dielectric waveguides;

Start antennas



Week 14


Antennas and propagation

Project 5 due

Project 6 assigned


  April 17

Week 15


Antennas and propagation



Week 16


May 1

Last week of classes

Review for final

Project 6 due


April 27


Class overview

Electromagnetic waves are at the core of many modern technologies: radio, television, digital networks (e.g. WiFi), microwave ovens, mobile phones, GPS, radar, remote sensing, infrared remotes, lasers (DVD and Blueray to industrial), microscopy, imaging, and optical fiber data communication. This course will provide the foundations for further study in these fields, through an introduction to the theory of electromagnetic wave propagation, including the following topics:

1.   Uniform plane waves (reflection and transmission through different environments, polarization) and devices that involve plane waves, such as stealth materials at RF and quarter-wave matching layers, beam-splitters and prisms in optics.   

2.   Non-uniform plane waves in a coaxial line and quasi-TEM waves in printed lines (microstrip and CPW). We will review transmission line analysis methods, such as the Smith chart, and design matching circuits and various passive components in coaxial line and microstrip.  

3.   Waveguides and resonators that support other modes (field profiles) will be studied: metallic waveguides for RF high power and high-frequency applications (TE,TM), and hybrid and evanescent modes in dielectric waveguides (slab guides, rectangular THz dielectric guides, silicon integrated photonics, and optical fibers).

4.   Beam propagation (Gaussian beams) will be introduced in the context of applications at optical and millimeter-wave/THz frequencies.

5.   Finally, we return to plane waves to study fundamentals of antennas and propagation.



Policies and Regulations:  The following policies and regulations apply for this course.


Honor Code. All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy of the institution. Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior. All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the CU Honor Code Council (, 303-725-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and non-academic sanctions (including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion). Other information on the Honor Code can be found at


The instructor reserves the right to use anti-plagiarism software to help determine the originality of term papers.


Cell phones and PDAs. Out of respect for the students and instructors as well as to minimize interference to laboratory measurement it is mandatory that cell phones or other devices with annunciators or other disturbing audio capabilities be turned off before entering the classroom or laboratory. Calculators may be used during exams, but personal digital assistants or other devices with communications capabilities are not permitted.


Electronic Communication. Questions on the course material, schedule, or policies may be e-mailed to the instructors at the above-listed addresses. E-mailed questions will be addressed as soon as possible, although given the volume of e-mail received by the instructors a delay of up to several days may occur. All course-related e-mails should include the course number in the subject line.  Voice mailed questions will be handled similarly but with e-mailed responses.


Disability. Students who qualify for accommodations because of a disability should submit to the instructors a letter from CU Disability Services in a timely manner so that needs can be addressed.  Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities.  Contact: 303-492-8671, Willard 322, or .
Religious Observances. Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to reasonably and fairly accommodate all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance. Conflicts between scheduled course activities and religious observances should be made known in writing to the instructors at least two weeks in advance of the activity so that alternate arrangements can be made. See full details at .
Discrimination and Harassment. The University of Colorado at Boulder policy on Discrimination and Harassment (, the University of Colorado policy on Sexual Harassment, and the University of Colorado policy on Amorous Relationships applies to all students, staff and faculty.  Any student, staff or faculty member who believes s/he has been the subject of discrimination or harassment based upon race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status should contact the Office of Discrimination and Harassment (ODH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Judicial Affairs at 303-492-5550.  Information about the ODH and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding discrimination or harassment can be obtained at .