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What do you think about these two textbooks?

  1. Sep 2, 2004 #1
    Hi all,

    What do you think about "Classical Electrodynamics" by Jackson and "Modern Quantum Mechanics" by Sakurai? I heard some people say both of them are quite difficult/abstract. I would like to see if it is a good idea to buy them both for my courses.

    Thanks a lot.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2004 #2

    Dr Transport

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    Jackson has been the standard text for Graduate Electromagnetics/Dynamics for nearly 40 years. It takes a bunch of work to feel comfortable with the material in it, i.e. you have to do most of the problems and rework most of the theory in the text in detail.

    As for Sakurai, I took many courses in Qantum Mechanics and still have difficulty doing all of the problems. It is a more modern text as opposed to Messiah or Mertzbacher and maybe that is my problem, I never learned to work with bra-ket notaion comfortably.

    The more you study them, the more you will learn. Both are useful texts to have around, just as Goldstein is for Mechanics.

  4. Sep 2, 2004 #3


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    Jackson teaches you the mathematical techniques for solving EM problems, and is good at that.

    I would not recommend Sakurai as a first Q.Mech text - start off with Cohen-Tannoudji or the like, and if you want harder problems, look at Sakurai.
  5. Sep 3, 2004 #4
    By both of them, as far as I believe not know, they are all good textbooks, this is what i have just asked several people here,

    but first of all, you need to TAKE ALL THE BASICS ABOUT THOSE, TAKE THEM ALL,
    so you have to take a look at YOUR LIBRARY again.

    I also learn LOTS from those SOURCES, true!

    Stop thinking about other subjects you know, and you have to concentrate on THOSE SOURCES.

    All in all, both of the books above are good. But again, DELIVERY MUST be much more.
    Understand ?
  6. Sep 4, 2004 #5
    Thanks for all the replies.

    At last, I bought both of them, because there is only one copy of each in the library and so I cannot "borrow them through" the whole semester. In fact I think they are quite expensive, considering that I may get a good hardcover (with nice pics) on other subjects with the same money I spent.

    I read the first chapter of Sakurai briefly. I do not quite like his style of presentation. The derivations are rigorous, but the materials are not as clearly presented and "well-organised" as in a mathematical text. But I still think it is delightful as a textbook.
  7. Sep 10, 2004 #6
    They are both bibles of the graduate study. Every physicist should have one copy of these books.
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