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Multivariable calculus and electrodynamics

  1. Feb 24, 2013 #1
    Hi, I'm trying to learn physics and math on my own (I'm 16, bored with what I'm taught in school, and on vacation right now, so I have some free time). Over the past 4 months or so I've started more seriously learning, and I think I've been doing fairly well. To learn mechanics, I've been using An Introduction to Mechanics by Kleppner and Kolenkow (which is amazing, even though the end-of-the-chapter problems are sometimes extremely hard) and I've consulted the Feynman Lectures on Physics for extra insight or if I am confused. I've also been watching Walter Lewin's lectures on MIT Opencourseware, and they're pretty good. To learn calculus, I read Calculus Made Easy by Thompson, I watched a lot of Khan Academy, and I recently started studying from Differential and Integral Calculus by Courant (which is the most in-depth look at math I have ever seen, and I've loved it. It is a completely different world from how math is taught in high school, and it took some getting used to, but I think the hard work has been worth it). I was wondering if anyone could recommend a (or some) textbooks or resources to learn electrodynamics from. Also, I sort of know multivariable calculus, but I want to get into it more deeply, particularly vector analysis (which I have to do if I'm gonna start learning about electrodynamics). I'm thinking of getting the second volume of Differential and Integral Calculus, but if anyone could recommend more things that would be great.
    Thanks very much for your help.

    PS. I feel like I'm understanding everything I'm learning and I'm pretty confident that I'm learning everything correctly and from pretty good sources. However, I'm not completely sure, and if anybody has any ideas on anything I could be doing better, that would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2013 #2
  4. Feb 24, 2013 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Griffiths is intermediate/upper level undergraduate level, not graduate level.
  5. Feb 24, 2013 #4


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    Well if you can handle Kleppner then I would second the reccomendation of Purcell once you have a grasp of vector calculus; while applying vector calculus to electromagnetism is interesting in its own right, the way relativity is used to explain the fields of moving charges in Purcell is so beautiful you will have thanked yourself later for working through the book. Best of luck and make sure you get the latest edition because it is totally worth it.
  6. Feb 24, 2013 #5
    Thanks for the clarification, I haven't read into either Jackson or Griffiths..
  7. Feb 24, 2013 #6


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    i recommend David Dugdale's Essentials of Electromagnetism as the step between say Halliday and Resnick and Jackson. The nice thing about it is that it starts from Maxwell's Equations. Another book with a very interesting point of view is Ohanian's Classical Electrodynamics, because it gets to Maxwell's equations by requiring consistency with relativity.
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