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Best / suggested / great Classical Field Theory texts?

  1. Jul 17, 2011 #1
    Hey everyone,

    I'm looking for some books that really dig into the topic of classical field theory -- and not necessarily just the fields that were known during the heyday of classical physics (electromagnetic / gravitational), but not necessarily all about Yang-Mills and Dirac fields, either.

    It's sort of difficult to describe exactly what I'm looking for (which is probably why I'm having trouble finding a book that fits the bill), so maybe the best thing to do would be to list books that I do have, and how closely they fit:

    Burgess - Classical Covariant Fields. This is the benchmark. Basically, I'm looking for something that covers the same type of topics that this one does, but perhaps going in-depth on fewer topics.

    DeWitt - Dynamical Theory of Groups & Fields. The opening paragraph of this book lays out well exactly what I'm not looking for:
    This seems to be a common thread in virtually every book on field theory -- even many of those that are nominally supposed to be about classical field theory in particular.

    Binz / Sniatycki / Fischer - Geometry of Classical Fields. Reading the TOC of this on Amazon, I thought WOW, this sounds great. But when I picked it up, not only did I find the unformatted text almost unreadable, but there is almost NO reference to physical applications.
    Also, this seems like it's more an advanced differential geometry text than a field theory text, though if the topics were tied back to physical applications, that would probably pass muster.

    Soper - Classical Field Theory. I like this one, but it's pretty basic. It was a great primer, but I'm looking for something slightly more advanced (or perhaps at about the same level of 'difficulty' of the non-introductory chapters, but with a broader range of topics).

    Barut - Electrodynamics and Classical Theory of Fields and Particles. I'd compare this one to Soper. Really good text, well-written and original, grounded in reality -- but very focused on electrodynamics..which makes sense given the title, but again, I'm looking for maybe this depth on more / different topics.

    Doughty - Lagrangian Interaction, Felsager - Geometry, Particles and Fields. Just bought these two. From the TOC, they seem like they touch on classical field theory, but only as a stepping stone to QFT.

    Ng - Introduction to Classical and Quantum Fields. Given that classical fields were in the title, I was a little disappointed at how little a role they played.

    Lifgarbagez / Landau - The Classical Theory of Fields. I'm probably not gonna make any friends saying this, but I just can't get into the Landau books. They just feel...dated. I was again disappointed by the fact that although it was called "classical theory of fields", which I took to be "fields in general", it was focused on pretty basic electrodynamics / gravity.

    ....is that enough to go on? Or have I just confused and alienated everyone?

    Any suggestions would be great.

    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  2. jcsd
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