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Textbook Suggestion: Electromagnetism

  1. Sep 30, 2011 #1
    Hello all,
    I'm looking for some suggestions for textbooks regarding electromagnetism. I want something that goes in depth and really provides the concepts required to actually understand electricity and magnetism. Any Electrical Courses that I am taking are all circuit analysis....
    Regards, D.

    Can someone perhaps move this thread to Classical Physics. I just realized I would most likely get more replies regarding electrodynamics in that forum.
    Regards, D
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2011 #2
    You might get even more in the Science Book Discussion forum.

    Anyway, the text most often recommended for advanced beginners in EM is Berkeley Physics Volume 2, by Purcell. If that is too advanced for you, then your best bet is probably the EM chapters of any popular calculus-based freshman physics textbook (Serway, Young, Giancoli, Halliday, etc.)

    If Purcell is not advanced enough, the next step up (junior/senior level) is "Introduction to Electrodynamics" by Griffiths, and the next level after that (graduate level) is "Classical Electrodynamics" by Jackson.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  4. Oct 1, 2011 #3
    i'm studying 2nd year level electromagnetism and i have the book 'Electromagnetism' by Grant and Phillips second edition. It seems quite good so far, it goes into a lot of detail of vector calculus and the underlying principles of electric fields, capacitance etc. It's not really that good for circuit analysis though I'm afraid
  5. Oct 1, 2011 #4


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    A very good text on em. is also the textbook by J. Schwinger. One of my favorites for classical field theory is Landau/Lifgarbages vol. II which is consistently written in a relativistic context as it should be for electromagnetism. For macroscopic electrodynamics, some chapters in vol. VIII should also be considered.
  6. Oct 1, 2011 #5
    Schwartz, Principles of Electrodynamics. A physicist's viewpoint.

    Also, though he wasn't satisfied with the presentation himself, the E&M material in Feynman Lectures vol. 2 is great reading (some topics in E&M radiation are covered in vol. 1).
  7. Oct 25, 2011 #6
    Electricity and Magnetism: Probably the best book out there at the undergraduate level is “Introduction to Electrodynamics” 3rd ed. by David J. Griffiths. It “thinks” like a physicist, and I keep my 1st ed. as a reference. At the graduate school level comes one year of “Classical Electrodynamics” 3rd ed. by John David Jackson, Wiley, 1998. I had 2nd ed., and the first edition dates back to 1962.

    I review texts/literature/key physics ideas/key math tools at the forum link:



    Alex A.
  8. Oct 25, 2011 #7
    All wonderful suggestions but from what it sounds like, the OP is an electrical engineering student. Jackson would not be appropriate without a solid math background and not incredibly helpful for engineering purposes. Likewise Schwartz; it's elegant but decidedly for a physicist or ridiculously interested engineer.

    Feynman lectures are excellent for concepts and discussion, Griffiths for problems and problem-solving. From a quick look at your past posts, I'd say a lot of the problems you've been posting about are covered almost entirely in Griffiths. Good luck!
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