1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Engineering Good book on electromagnetism

  1. Nov 6, 2016 #1
    Hello. I want to study electromagnetism so I can understand it in circuits and for electrical engineering as well.

    Are there any good introducotry books? I have done basic mechanics (kinematics motion in a straight line, work, energy, power , ideal pulleys and motion in two dimensions, calculus of motion, force vectors addition and resolving, newtons laws) and some of physics ( i know the basic definition of wave, transverse and longitudenal waves..really basic stuff)

    I really want to understand the basics well.

    So far I have narrowed down the choices to:

    halliday and resnick volume 2,
    Electromagnetics for Engineers (though I cannot find it on amazon).
    Schaums electromagnetism.
    Electricity and Magnetism (Berkeley Physics Course, Vol. 2

    My purpose is: To understand the logic or physics behind circuit theory and just basic electromagnetism awareness.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2016 #2
    I found Giancolli and Resnick a good introduction. I like Alonso and Finn: Fundamental University Physics (volume 2, I think Volume 1 is needed). Alonso and Finn has very precise and concise explanations. It may be lacking in explanations for some people, but I found it good for my needs. I had a strong math background when I took EM.

    Also make sure you know Calculus 2. You know, integration techniques and what not. It is also great if you know vector calculus. So you can better understand Gauss Law's, the Electric Field, and other topics.

    Then maybe get an Engineering book on circuits. I am not sure of my last recommendation. I am not an engineering major.
  4. Nov 6, 2016 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Haliday and Resnick is the best of the choices you list. It is a fine book to learn from. You should be able to pick up an old edition for little money - the 3rd edition was used when I was in school and it is very good. Any other book at an equivalent level is probably fine, too. I'm just not familiar with the others.

    I do not recommend Purcell (berkeley volume 2) for a first exposure; it was my first exposure to the subject and even with a very helpful TA that spent many hours helping us it was very difficult. It is a great book, after you already know something about the subject!

    All of the engineering electromagnetics books I am familiar with (and as an electrical engineer I am familiar with a number of them) presume a knowledge of EM at the level of Haliday and Resnick, so don't start with one of those, either.

  5. Nov 7, 2016 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    Purcell is more confusing than helpful. For a no-nonsense introduction to the modern relativistic treatment of electromagnetism, better read Landau-Lifshitz vol. II or the nice book by Schwartz. At the intro level Haliday, Resnick, Walker is fine. For theory as a first book, I'd recommend Griffiths. At the graduate level, Jackson is the standard source. Here I recommend the 2nd edition, because it uses the good old Gaussian system of units ;-).
  6. Nov 7, 2016 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I have both books by Schwinger's and Jackson's (I haven't started working through them (I have a course that I will be taking that covers Jackson's).

    My question is does Schwinger cover also different topics than Jackson's, or different problems than Jackson's?

    Believe me when the course will start I'll go over them both like madmanwell.:-D
  7. Nov 7, 2016 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    I'd say Schwinger covers as much as Jackson in a much more elegant way. Schwinger's book is exceptional as all of Schwinger's writings. He's using very elegant mathematical techniques that are unique for him. So, I'd recommend his textbook on classical mechanics as an additional reading for very interested math affine people. For me one of the highlights is his treatment of cylinder functions (Bessel, Neumann, Hankel functions) with operator methods. Alone for this chapter, it's worth to use this book :-)).
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: Good book on electromagnetism
  1. Electromagnetism Book (Replies: 12)

  2. Is this a good book? (Replies: 5)