Discover the Real Gem: Neoclassical Theory of Electromagnetic Interactions

In summary, the conversation is discussing the book "Neoclassical Theory of Electromagnetic Interactions - A Single Theory for Macroscopic and Microscopic Scales" by Babin and Figotin. The participants are debating whether it is a good investment and whether books on physics written by mathematicians are reliable. They also mention other books on electromagnetism, such as "Formal Structure of Electromagnetics" by Post and "Classical Electrodynamics" by Lechner. The overall opinion is that while the book by Babin and Figotin may have some interesting ideas, it may not be the best choice for learning standard electromagnetism.
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coquelicot
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TL;DR Summary: Book: Neoclassical Theory of Electromagnetic Interactions - A Single Theory for Macroscopic and Microscopic Scales

I've found the book of Babin & Figotin:
Neoclassical Theory of Electromagnetic Interactions - A Single Theory for Macroscopic and Microscopic Scales.
I like their ideas. This looks good, but do you think it's a good investment?
The problem in modern physics is that there are too many authors and theories. It's not so easy to recognize the real gems.
 
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Why are you buying it? If it is to learn electromagnetism, I wouldn't.

A. The authors call it a "new theory"
B. The authors aren't physicists. They are mathematicians, and only one is faculty.

If you want to learn standard E&M, this does not look like the best choice.
 
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Actually, I already know EM pretty well.
But their theory seem interesting, and being myself a mathematician, I think this is only good for physics. I would like to know the opinion of someone who has studied their book.
 
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coquelicot said:
No need to open a thread for that. It is only in parentheses, and a reply to the above boiling down statement that physics books by mathematician are necessarily bad.
This is, of course, nonsense. There are brillant books on theoretical physics written by mathematicians. Historical examples are Weyl's, Raum, Zeit, Materie and von Neumann's book on the mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics.

What these example also demonstrate is that you must be careful when it comes to the physics part. Weyl had the superficially brillant idea to gauge the scale invariance of the free gravitational field in GR to describe the electromagnetic field as the corresponding gauge field. The only disadvantage is that it's physically impossible, because it contradicts the simple fact that the spatial and temporal scales of charged matter doesn't depend on its electromagnetic history, as both Einstein and Pauli immediately pointed out to Weyl. Nevertheless the idea is indeed brillant, because the principle of making global symmetries local lead to a tremendous success in model building in connection with relativistic quantum field theory and the understanding of the fundamental interactions in terms of the Standard Model of elementary particle physics, which heavily builds on this idea of "gauge invariance".
 
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2 authors from the Soviet space working in California cannot even get the „Lorenz gauge” right. Other than that, the book is junk. Tells a lot about the level of Springer nowadays. Anybody can publish a book.
 
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