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Best E&M Text?

  1. Aug 18, 2010 #1
    I'm taking junior level E&M this semester and we are using Foundations of Electromagnetic Theory by Reitz. I have previewed the book and it seems a little on the less thorough side while also requiring much prior knowledge of the subject. Are there any other texts which I could supplement with? I have heard good things about Griffiths :]
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2010 #2
    Griffiths is the seminal text. Excellent book. If you put in the time to work through it properly, you will understand EM.
  4. Aug 18, 2010 #3
    I have a lot of EM books including Griffith, Hayt, Popovic, Schwarz, Jackson, Ulaby, Kraus etc. On the EE side, I found Fiend and Wave Electromagnetics by David K Cheng the best bar none. Maybe it is not what you looking for, but this book is very very good in Field and Waves. Griffith is good too, not as good for EE.
  5. Aug 18, 2010 #4


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    Griffiths is the best.
  6. Aug 18, 2010 #5


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    Agreed. Read through Griffiths first (attempting as many of the problems as you have time for) to get a very solid understanding of the physical concpts and a decent grasp of the Maths. Then, for some more advanced problems and Maths, go through Jackson's Classical Electrodynamics.
  7. Aug 18, 2010 #6
    I am not sure I can agree Griffith is the best. It is more suitable to physic major. It is not bad, but for someone that have no knowledge about EM, it is not the best I have seen in breaking people into EM. Maybe for physics student, that is as good as it get, but as EE and have a chance to look at books from both side, I see better books like Cheng. But of cause Cheng go deeply into Field and Wave instead. I do use Griffith as reference on the first few chapters.
  8. Oct 8, 2010 #7
    I also like the ones by Eyges, Schwartz, and Melia. Those are three different books btw.
  9. Oct 8, 2010 #8
    I know I'm responding to an old post, but I can't help myself: seminal doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.

    The OP is probably halfway thru his semester, but I'd have recommended the book by https://www.amazon.com/Electricity-Magnetism-Munir-H-Nayfeh/dp/047187681X" for the large number of examples it contains.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  10. Oct 8, 2010 #9
    I like Griffiths. I skimmed through a couple others though and they didn't seem bad either, whatever that means.

    Personally though Griffiths did kill me in chapter 3. I never really understood chapter 3 until I took a class on PDE's.
  11. Oct 8, 2010 #10
    Crap, whats with all the zombie threads recently?
  12. Oct 8, 2010 #11
    If you do a define: seminal google search, you get some cute results. However, I'm sure fasterthanjoao meant seminal as in definition 3, found http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/seminal" [Broken].
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  13. Oct 9, 2010 #12
    That's the definition I meant. Usually what is meant by seminal is some original work that generated a lot of other work. Few textbooks are seminal, as they tend to just synthesize other work. They can certainly do it so well that they become standards. Even a book like Jackson is not really seminal. It filled a niche and now...still fills that niche.

    (I guess I really don't have anything better to do... :uhh:)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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