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Courses Non-Jackson graduate E&M course?

  1. Feb 25, 2010 #1
    Has anyone had any experience with a graduate E&M class that didn't use Jackson? Is Jackson necessary? I have it at home and it's a very difficult read and the problems are impossible. I have other E&M books and I can actually learn E&M from them.

    My grad E&M class (master's program) didn't use Jackson (since very recently). I was wondering what I missed since it seems that almost every graduate E&M class uses it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2010 #2


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    The only other alternative text that I know of at the graduate level is the E&M text by Landau and Lifgarbagez.

    Note that Jackson is difficult because the subject matter is difficult. Granted that he could be a bit more verbose with the text, but considering how much he covers in that text, it is no wonder that not many other textbook authors are willing to tackle that subject at that level.

  4. Feb 25, 2010 #3
    We used Panofsky and Phillips in the MS program I was in. Jackson was usual, but the prof thought that too many students were getting problem solutions off the net, so...

    From what I've seen of Jackson, I'd have preferred it, but this wasn't a bad text and it was an order of magnitude cheaper. :-)
  5. Feb 25, 2010 #4
    The first semester of my graduate E&M, we used Jackson. But people started complaining about the homework, so the professor stopped taking the problems from Jackson and substituted his own (he still used Jackson's notation and outline to teach the course). His problems were just as hard as Jackson's, but now we couldn't reference Homer Reid online. I don't think it's Jackson's fault that E&M sucks.
  6. Feb 25, 2010 #5

    Ben Niehoff

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    How do you ever intend to get any research done if you don't learn to solve an impossible problem or two?

    Jackson is a math book, not an E&M book. You already know electrodynamics. What you don't know (probably) are the important mathematical techniques used to study partial differential equations in more general situations than the highly-symmetric setups found in Griffiths.
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