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Berkeley physics course

  1. May 18, 2005 #1
    I wanted to do some physics over the break, electricity and magnatism to be exact. I have already taken the course so im not going through the material for the first time, I have also take vector calculus. The book I wanted to buy was Electricity and Magnetism, Vol. II
    by Berkeley Physics
    I read that there are no solutions to this book, does anyone know if this is true?
    Also, i read that it does not use the stantard units, is this true?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2005 #2
    The book does not have any set solutions manual. However, almost every rigorous intro E&M class uses this book so you can almost always find solutions on university websites. For example, a quick google search yields:


    There. You can actually now "take" the Honors Intro E&M course at Berkeley.

    As for your units question, Purcell uses cgs units as opposed to MKS units. As a student who just took this course at first I didn't like this as I was familiar with MKS units however it soon became appearant that cgs units make your equations look much prettier; you do not have "fundamental" constants such as mew and epsilon floating around.
  4. May 18, 2005 #3
    I would take a look at Griffiths' E&M book as well. That book would have made my freshman year Purcell-based E&M class less painful.
  5. May 18, 2005 #4


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    Yes,in fact Griffiths' book on Intro E & M is much better written than his Intro QM course.I'll say to stick with Griffiths.It provides the proper training for graduate texts like J.D.Jackson.

  6. Mar 29, 2011 #5
    As a currently active physics student who has some skill tackling the library system, I can indeed tell you there exist solutions manuals to each book. The trouble is getting your hands on the available copies. Currently, I am in the process of pleading with my library staff to acquire the texts for me. Luckily, I am friends with the librarian in charge of inter-library loans, so I may in fact get a copy, although, I will probably have to pay to get it. These books are really rare. I saw a copy of the solutions manual on amazon.com in NEW condition going for $700 yesterday. I think it is still there. If I had the money, I'd get it, but being a poor student, I of course do not.

    I'm working to get a copies of the text to look at and compare. The solutions are by the Nobel physicist himself. Each book's solutions manual is written by the physicist who wrote the text. From a purely historical and mathematical perspective, it is intriguing how these men went about solving their own problems.

    This is an incorrect statement. As I previously indicated, they do exist, they are just next to impossible to find.

    Link: http://www.amazon.com/Solutions-man...ty-magnetism/dp/B00070Z08U/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_2

    Well, it looks like someone actually paid the 700 beans for the text. Either way, they do exist. Check with your local library to see what can be done to get you a copy. While it's not "technically" the best solution--there is such thing as a photocopy machine--if all else fails. I really wish they would re-release these texts along with their solutions manuals; the Feynman lecture series has been continually in print and keeps getting new editions (they go back and edit and update the work); I don't see why the authors' estates and McGraw-Hill cannot do the same, or at least similarly. If they don't plan on publishing the texts, I cannot understand (besides some dark and unsatisfactory machinations) why they could not. They are still being used by university departments, are highly popular amongst many of the international and national theorists and is popular amongst independent learners--especially, to those in the honors programs. One of our physics faculty has the entire series in Russian, as he is a Russian physicist. He claims the series is the best physics texts he has every had the privilege of working with.

    It still boggles my mind that if these texts are still being used, why they aren't being re-released by a publisher.

    I've read lengths about Jackson's text. Griffiths' is recommended as the best text to start with. It is very well written and a great way to get into the subject. It is very well suited for self-study (from what I read). Jackson's text is evil--no matter how you swing it. However, there is no text at present that is as thorough. A similar incidence occurs in optics. Why the the community doesn't have better texts is beyond me. It would seem Neil Postman was correct when he said we should just throw the lot of textbooks out the window. If only these people could remember that students actually have to make sense of these things. What a bother--indeed.
  7. Mar 31, 2011 #6
  8. Mar 31, 2011 #7
    The link appears not to work. I wasn't able to find a similar website. I searched for H7B (it's Berkeley's honors course for E&M, but they are submitting problems out of Giancoli's text, not Percell's. There are some on MIT's opencourseware http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-022-physics-ii-electricity-and-magnetism-fall-2002/assignments/ site, but these are not comprehensive solutions, only selected hints to the assigned problems. It might at least be of help to some.

    Currently, I could not find the Berkeley site listed. I found http://www.ssl.berkeley.edu/H7B/ but it only has solutions for Giancoli.
  9. Mar 31, 2011 #8
  10. Mar 31, 2011 #9
    I also found this page: http://muller.lbl.gov/teaching/H7B/H7B.htm It has some of the solutions posted to it.

    I hope this helps. Either way, there are solutions manuals available by the authors, but they are very hard to find. I hope this has been of help to all of you.

    Now if only they would republish the book or make it available in an open-source format.
  11. Mar 31, 2011 #10
  12. Mar 31, 2011 #11
  13. Mar 31, 2011 #12
    Many thanks for your great links.
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