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Best Textbook on Electromagnetics

  1. Oct 30, 2017 #21
    Do you really think so? I think for L&L it especially depends on personal taste. Russian books have a very unique style and in my opinion not everyone can grasp their points. Whether you love or you hate L&L-series. (in some way this holds also for Weinberg's books) Maybe these books are best suited for experienced physicists, not really for undergrads.
    [Just my personal opinion]
  2. Nov 3, 2017 #22
    Thank you everyone for keeping this thread going.

    @Buffu: My studies presently cover these topics; hence, the curiosity.

    @Moayd Shagaf: Thanks, I'll try to review Purcell next.

    See my next post on Griffiths.

    @vanhees71: Intrigued. Much intrigued.

    Thanks for the Purcell caution. And I do believe I've a Schwartz in my list above; hoping it's the same one.
  3. Nov 3, 2017 #23
    Taking this opportunity to continue the face-off...my next author is Griffiths.

    Introduction to Electrodynamics by David J. Griffiths (4th ed. - Kindle edition)



    The author, instead of stating the next step, cosiderately furnishes a reason for the next step. Decoupling is the keyword for me and my key takeaway. The "Taking the curl of..." approach is thoughtfully open-circuited.


    I prefer Griffiths approach because he begins the section on Poynting Theorem by defining the total energy stored in EM fields. This approach contrasts cheerfully in comparison with efforts that jump right into the dot products & cross product mechanids of it all.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  4. Nov 3, 2017 #24
    I second @vanhees71 and @atyy, I also find Purcell unreadable and I don't recommend it.
  5. Nov 19, 2017 at 11:44 AM #25
    Electricity and Magnetism by Edward M. Purcell (2nd ed.)


    1) the general wave equation from Maxwell's equation

    Although Purcell does not derive the wave equations, per se, I find his conversational style of writing much more paletable than my assigned textbook. The chapter on electromagnetic waves reads like the Mumbai breeze in October.

    I know I am in concert with atleast Smodak and Maoyd Shagaf on that front.

    Above comment is limited just to the readability aspect of the book and not on its technical underpinnings, whose critique I understand vanhees71, atyy et. al. to be.

    2) Poynting vector from Maxwell's equations

    I have been unsuccessful in locating this topic in Purcell.
  6. Nov 20, 2017 at 6:10 AM #26


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    Purcell is very confusing. If you want the relativity-first approach, better read Schwartz, Principle of Electrodynamics.
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