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Classical Advanced (undergraduate) book on electromagnetism

  1. May 28, 2015 #1
    I am an undergrad student and i have been through a first easy course on electrodynamics and i have used the book of Griffiths which let me satisfied.But the next two courses i will be taking are notoriously hard mathematics-wise so i want a step-up from Griffiths.I want a mathematically rigorous and comprehensive book that also builds up intuition(because physics is not only maths).

    I have looked at Purcell's book and found it very pedagogic,it impressed me but i do not know if it is as difficult as i want.

    Do you suggest that i buy Purcell's book or do you have anything else in mind?
     
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  3. May 28, 2015 #2

    micromass

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    I am not sure what you mean with this. E&M is pretty horrible to do mathematically rigorous, so I don't recommend this at all. But I guess you have something else in mind.

    I definitely suggest Purcell, I doubt you can do much better for what you want.
     
  4. May 28, 2015 #3
    I have already done electromagnetism on an intuitional basis,so the next step is to ramp it up with some more mathematics.Some tell me Purcell is all about intuition but not so much about advanced(but still undergrad level) mathematics.
     
  5. May 28, 2015 #4

    micromass

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    A more advanced book would be Griffiths if you don't think Purcell is advanced enough.
     
  6. May 28, 2015 #5
    i told you above that i already have Griffiths,so i probably need to go to an even more advanced text
     
  7. May 28, 2015 #6

    micromass

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    That would probably be Jackson then
     
  8. May 29, 2015 #7
    But it is a graduate text and i am an undergraduate
     
  9. May 29, 2015 #8

    vanhees71

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    Well, I'd say, if you have mastered Griffiths then the next step would be on the graduate level. Start about thinking, why there is no hidden momentum, although Griffiths uses this phrase in his book. I plan to write my 2nd part of my little "Sins in physics didactics" series in the Insights section of these forums. I don't understand, why one makes a mystery out of relativistic energy-momentum conservation by calling something a hidden momentum although it's simply momentum ;-)). All what Griffiths says about it, is of course right, and I think this shows that there's nothing hidden about the momentum called hidden in his book.
     
  10. May 29, 2015 #9
    I think i misguided you.When i said i mastered Griffiths book,i am talking about all the stuff in the book up to Maxwell's equations.Not waves and radiation and those things.I have only been through a first of three courses in electromagnetism.I just think that there are more difficult and mathematically rigorous problems on Maxwell's equations that i have to delve into.
     
  11. May 29, 2015 #10

    vanhees71

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    Well, I'd study the remaining chapters of Griffiths first. I don't know, what you mean by "mathematically rigorous". There's not much unrigorous in the typical physicists' treatment of electromagnetism. It's just vector analysis (+a bit of distribution theory, i.e., functional analysis), which is a well understood mathematical subject. This is to the contrary of quantum field theory, for which mathematical rigorous formulations only exist for toy models in lower than 3 spatial dimensions.
     
  12. May 29, 2015 #11
    Jackson's book has very rich and difficult mathematics in it.Griffith's book has easy maths.I want something in the middle
     
  13. May 29, 2015 #12

    vanhees71

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    Hm, I don't know anything in the middle. Jackson is a classic. My personal favorites, however, are

    Landau & Lifshitz, Course on Theoretical Physics, vol. II (Classical field theory) and vol. VIII (macroscopic E+M)
    Scheck, Classical Field Theory
    Schwinger, Classical Electrodynamics
    Schwartz, Principles of Electrodynamics
     
  14. May 29, 2015 #13
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  15. May 29, 2015 #14

    jasonRF

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    Adam,

    If Griffiths is too easy and Jackson (or the like) is too hard, then perhaps you need to learn math methods for physics. Learning how to solve boundary value problems, construct Green's functions, complex analysis, integral transforms, tensors, etc. will get you prepared for grad level.

    jason
     
  16. May 30, 2015 #15
    Yeah,maybe you are right.That is a good suggestion
     
  17. May 30, 2015 #16

    George Jones

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  18. May 30, 2015 #17

    vanhees71

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    Well, indeed, learning the math is a great idea, but what could be better to study than electrodynamics to learn the math of vector calculus and the techniques for solving field-equations of motion? The great thing with E+M is that you come very far with linear partial differential equations, and these techniques you need everywhere in physics!
     
  19. Jun 10, 2015 #18
    You would be much better served to study the mathematics as you need it (provided you have the time). A logical step between Griffiths (up to Maxwell's Equations) and Jackson would be Stratton's Electromagnetic Theory Chapters 5-9. I suggest this text over others because it is widely available (being published in 1941), inexpensive (used copy) and presents a complete introduction to waves (plane,cylindrical,spherical), radiation and boundary value problems along with the necessary mathematics.

    There are two other books which I am aware of that cover these topics and are likewise between Griffiths and Jackson in mathematical difficulty:

    Classical Electromagnetism in a Nutshell by Garg, (read whole book good for familiarizing with both cgs and SI units)
    Modern Electrodynamics by Zangwill, (Chapter 14-24)

    Both have been published recently and are a bit more expensive however you should be able to find them in you local university library.
     
  20. Jun 12, 2015 #19

    vanhees71

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    Ok, all these are good books but all so oldfashioned in their approach. Landau Lishitz vol. II is much more uptodate than these and written decades earlier!

    I mean, a textbook for the theory course, after the students have heard the phenomenology in the experimental lecture, should start with the relativistic formulation and stress the action principle and gauge symmetry. This is the physics behind the phenomena stressed in the old-fashioned approaches, and it saves a lot of trouble of the old-fashioned approaches (overemphasizing statics; trouble with Faraday's Law in integral form etc.).
     
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