I'm a first year undergraduate taking my first electricity and magnetism class, and going through all the classic material: Coulomb's law, electric fields, flux, capacitors, etc. And the book I have explains the material relatively well, but I feel like I'm missing out on so much by just being given the postulates/empirical claims and doing ridiculous amounts of calculation with them (for instance, being told Coulomb's law is true, and deducing the electric field on, say, an infinitely charged plate by a little integration). I've always thought of physics as a lot more vibrant than that. How do we know Coulomb's law is true? What were the past experiments that verified the law? Why is the closed integral in Gauss's Law equal to the charge inside the Gaussian surface divided by the permittivity constant? What were the first capacitors made of? What was the exciting process of discovery for those pioneers who learned new things about this incredibly fascinating subject?(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

It just seems to me like the textbooks I'm using (Halliday and also Serway) just give you definitions and do a couple of proofs from those definitions or laws. There's no history, no context, no intuition, just a bunch of equations. That's fine for the engineering monkeys that want to bash numbers into the formulas to pop out answers, but for physics majors and the engineers who care to get a more full understanding of the material and the foundation's it's based on, it'd be nice to have some background, some more 'meat' to the material. I can't go to the original sources most of the time, because the language they use or the mathematical tools they use are too advanced or technical, and often too overwhelming in scope.Is there a book out there that isn't a hard textbook full of formulas and how to think about them, but something with history, context, how former generations thought about certain concepts and how our viewpoints changed, et cetera?I've tried reading Isaac Asimov's Understanding Physics, but it's very layman oriented and doesn't offer but a very brief synopsis of the material and it's history (understandable for such a broad book), and I didn't much like the second volume of Feynman's lectures. I hope you can direct me to something similar to what I'm looking for. Thanks.

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# Electricity and Magnetism Book

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