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Recommend a good E&M undergrad book that isn't Griffiths

  1. Feb 18, 2013 #1
    Don't care for Griffiths, and I think it would make a lousy reference given how many important theorems, results, etc. are hidden in the problems rather than included normally. I'd like a book that ideally has derivations of all the relevant formula and CONCEPTUAL descriptions of phenomena, covering the same material Griffiths covers. Just better. I want it to prepare for the GRE and for personal betterment. Suggestions?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2013 #2
    It may not cover everything in Griffiths but for conceptual understanding I recommend Purcell.
  4. Feb 18, 2013 #3


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    For conceptual understanding and a beautiful exposition of the unity of electricity and magnetism, see Schwartz, Classical Electrodynamics. It is more advanced than Purcell, but like it is written by a Nobel prize winner and is both intuitive and physical. It is a slim book that is intended to provide insights rather than covering the whole range of topics found in Griffiths. It is available inexpensively from Dover.
  5. Feb 18, 2013 #4


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    Second Jorriss's recommendation of Purcell.
  6. Feb 18, 2013 #5


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    I third Jorriss's reccomendation. =D
  7. Feb 19, 2013 #6
  8. Feb 19, 2013 #7


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    I like Dugdale's Essentials of Electromagnetism. It starts from Maxwell's equations as the big picture, then discusses the conditions under which eg. electrostatics or circuit theory are a excellent approximations.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  9. Feb 20, 2013 #8

    Meir Achuz

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    Look at Franklin, "Classical Electromagnetism".
    It is a graduate text, but gives a good math background, and fills in the steps.
  10. Feb 20, 2013 #9
    I did my undergrad EM with Reitz' "Foundations of Electromagnetic Theory". I liked it, it's older than Griffiths' but the newer editions cover practically all of the same topics.

    If you're looking for PGRE preparation, I'd suggest you work through the exams first and see what your weaknesses in EM are, then go grab one of those 1000 problems in E&M books and work through problems.
  11. Feb 21, 2013 #10

    Dr Transport

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    Wangsness text is much better than Griffiths....
  12. Feb 21, 2013 #11
    Generally but it depends on the chapter, but I do like Wangsness, my professor's using it for E&M now; Shadowitz is another text that's pretty good.
  13. Mar 1, 2013 #12
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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