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Studying Self study of Electrostatics Advice needed

I am unsure whether this is the right forum to ask this question. This isn't a homework question but it has been troubling me for a while now.

My university has replaced Electrostatics in our syllabus with Geophysics. So I am currently self-teaching Electrostatics using Griffith's Introduction to Electrodynamics (3rd edition).

Now, I was able to solve almost all of the "in-line" problems from the book in chapters 1 (Vector Analysis) and 2 (Electrostatics). I could solve only 1 out of 9 end-chapter problems for 1st chapter. Looking at this performance, I never even glanced at the end-chapter problems of subsequent chapters (I am currently on chapter 4)

But from chapters 3 (Special Techniques) and 4 (Electric Fields in Matter), I have been unable to solve "all" of the in-line problems (I could solve like 3 in 7 problems). However, I do understand what I was doing wrong in most of the in-line problems I fail to solve by reading the solution manual which is easily available online.

My method is to first attempt a problem and verify my solution from the solution manual.

It is worrying me that I am unable to solve "all" problems from chapters 3 and 4. Am I learning Griffith's E&M correctly? I needed some advice regarding this.
 

S.G. Janssens

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Maybe you and Griffith's book are not a good match.

I had to use the book some years ago and I did not like it. There can be many reasons for this, and the book is not necessarily at fault, but it just happened to be that way. (In particular, I was irritated by what I perceived as carelessness and an an overly informal and popular tone.) My succes with the problems was mixed, towards low.

You may find the few recent posts starting here interesting.
 
Thank you for your reply. I had never heard of Wangsness' book before so I decided to google about it. I am planning to use Wangsness' book as a supplementary text alongside Griffith's. How good is this as an idea?
 

Dr Transport

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Thank you for your reply. I had never heard of Wangsness' book before so I decided to google about it. I am planning to use Wangsness' book as a supplementary text alongside Griffith's. How good is this as an idea?
Drop Griffiths, it is confusing, use Wangness only.
 
Thank you so much for your advice!
 

PeroK

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Thank you so much for your advice!
Griffith's book has a good reputation. I would caution against an immediate assumption that the book is your problem.

Electromagnetism is a complex subject. I wouldn't expect it to be easy. Also, if you are solving most of the inline problems that's not bad.

The end of chapter problems are difficult. If you can't do any then you probably haven't grasped the material fully. You perhaps should be able to do half of them. It would take a long time to do them all.

I would suggest you might need some support rather than another textbook. There are not that many students who can learn EM entirely on their own.

You could post a problem in the homework forum to let us see what level you are at and where you are struggling.
 
Hello all! By far I have completed 7 chapters from Wangsness' book. I have been able to solve ALL end chapter questions from Wangsness. Now, coming to the end chapter problems from Griffith's book, I was able to solve 8 out of 9 questions from chapter 1 and 8 out of 10 questions from chapter 2. So I think I am doing pretty good.

Thanks to all!
 

Dr Transport

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Griffith's book has a good reputation.
It does, as does his quantum mechanics book. I have taught out of both Wangsness and Griffiths, in all cases, the students and I prefer Wangsness. It is laid out in a logical, consistent manner, which I find lacking in Griffiths. As a matter a fact, I am working on a problem at work lately and pulled out my copy and sat down to review, it all came back in a couple of hours. I checked it against my copy of Griffiths and the material was not covered in the same manner and even confused my co-workers.
 

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