ECEN 3410, Electromagnetic Waves, Spring 2013


Weekly updates, May 5, 2013:


·         Final exam is on Tuesday, May 8, at 1:30pm in our normal classroom. It will have the same format as the midterm, with one extra problem/question.

·         Extra office hours: Monday (May 6) 1-3pm and Tuesday (May 7) noon-3pm. No office hours on the day of the exam.

·         Here are study problems and questions: StudyQuestions-finECEN3410.pdf and StudyProblems-Final-ECEN3410.pdf

·         Extra lectures that are not covered in the textbook:

o   3410-Lecture-Optics1-Feb5.pdf     

o   Lecture-Sparameters.pdf   

o   ECEN3410-GroundedDielSlab.pdf  

o   ECEN3410-OpticalFiber.pdf

o   Antennas.pdf (I wrote this for another class, so do not get confused that it is called Lecture 7)

·         So far, we have covered or will soon cover the following chapters in the textbook:

o   Parts of Chapter 8: 1 (partially), 2, 4 (but derived mathematically simpler forms), 5 (partially), 7, 8, 12.

o   Parts of Chapter 9: 1-4, 11-14

o   Parts of Chapter 10: 1, 2, 5, 7, 8

o   Parts of Chapter 11: Example 11.1

o   Parts of Chapter 12: 12.1 and 12.2, 12.6-12.8, 12.12 and resonators, 12.9

o   Parts of Chapter 13: 13.1 to 13.8, 13.10 (dispersion) and 13.12 (resonators)

o   Note that not everything is covered exactly like in any of the books. This is a senior level class, and you should be able to read material in different forms and think critically.

o   The material is also covered in Chapters 18,19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and Appendix 8 in the ECEN 3400 textbook.


Assignments and other material, in order of posting:

Slides from the first lecture: ECEN3410-FirstClass.pdf




C:\Documents and Settings\Zoya Popovic\Desktop\D\UndergradClasses\ECEN3410-S2013\Lecture-Sparameters-March11.pdfProject3-ECEN3410-S2013.pdf






MMANA-GAL Tutorial.pdf



Link to free Smith Chart program:


General Class Information:

Classes: MWF, 11-11:50am, ECCR 105


Prof. Zoya Popovic (ECOT-252), Office hours: M noon-1pm, Th 4:30-6pm, F 4-5pm

Prof. Dejan Filipovic (ECOT 243), Office hours: M 2-2:30pm, W 3:30-5pm


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

Additional material will be provided when needed.

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


Other good books:

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: 40%

Quizzes: 10%

Midterm: 20%

Final exam: 30%


Homework projects will be due approximately every two weeks. We advise that you start working on it as soon as it is assigned, since it covers 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 schedule and exact 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.21 (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 Q1


Week 6


Quasi-TEM lines:

Microstrip and CPW

Quiz 1

Project 3 due



Week 7


Microstrip: example circuits and circuit design methods



Week 8


Midterm (Friday, March 15)

TEM modes

Rectangular metallic waveguides; TE and TM modes

Project 4 assigned

(microstrip and CPW)


Week 9


Midterm (Monday, March 18)

Metallic waveguides: example devices; resonators


Project 4 due

Project 5 assigned (waveguides)


Week 10


Spring break, no classes or assignments

Week 12


Dielectric waveguides: slabs and fibers    



Week 13


Gaussian beams and devices

Project 5 due

Project 6 assigned


April 12

Week 14


Antennas and propagation



Week 15


Antennas and propagation

Project 6 due

Extra credit assigned

April 26

Week 16


May 3


Extra credit due at final exam




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 .