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Classical Electrodynamics Hardcover – Aug 10 1998

3.5 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 3 edition (Aug. 10 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047130932X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471309321
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 3.6 x 26.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #130,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Publisher

A revision of the defining book covering the physics and classical mathematics necessary to understand electromagnetic fields in materials and at surfaces and interfaces. The third edition has been revised to address the changes in emphasis and applications that have occurred in the past twenty years.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
We begin our discussion of electrodynamics with the subject of electrostatics-phenomena involving time-independent distributions of charge and fields. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I believe the main reason that this book remains the standard graduate-level E&M text is "inertia". Your prof used it, and so you will, too. As a physics text, it supplies more mathematical details than physical insight. Confusing mathematical expressions with physical understanding may be the reason that many people get the warm and fuzzy feeling about this book. The truth is, most people who proclaim to enjoy this book probably haven't throughly mastered the -physical- contents of Griffith's undergraduate text. If you truely have, you can go a long way without touching Jackson. Sure, long math equations can be orgasmic, but it's not physics.
The explanations in this book for the most part can best be described as turbid. For a particulary hideous example, try the section on the vectorial diffraction theory, and come back and ask yourself if you really know what the heck he's talking about. And then ask if HE knew what he was talking about.
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By A Customer on Feb. 17 2004
Format: Hardcover
First off, this is either a graduate book or a senior undergraduate book in Physics. The book assumes at least 2 years of college math, preferably for engineering or physics folks.
What sets this book apart is the focus on physics is perfect as we understand E&M theory at this point. Unlike other imperfect college texts like Lorraine and Courson, this book contains no errors. While some may no like "and the proof is left to the reader", the book is meant to teach people who are focused on physics but can describe the process mathematically as well as in regular language.
The assumption is that there has already been a rigorous introduction of both physics and mathematics so this book is NOT a casual read.
The beauty of this book is that it's not just teaching knowledge but it teaches one how to think. To those who can rise to the occasion and draw upon their education, professors and peers, there is the satisfaction of really understanding E&M clearly and concisely.
To those who only seek rote knowledge, this book will be too challenging.
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Format: Hardcover
I used Jackson for my graduate level advanced electrodynamics class. I was befuddled the first semester but made a good grade. Between the first and second semesters I had to study for and take the qualifiers. I used Jeans and Smythe's Static and Dynamic Electricity and found these to be excellent though difficult texts. As a corollary I also re-studied the required mathematics. Now I understood where Jackson was coming from! I was able to not only solve all the problems in the electostatics and Maxwell equations sections of Jackson but also my studies from Smythe and Jeans covered much of the second semester of Jackson also. When I took the second semester I was able to breeze through solving the problems and taking the tests to such an extent that my professors, who had trouble with the problems, wondered what had happened. It did not hurt that a close friend and I had recently built a radio telescope array in the hills of Tennessee during vacation thereby obtaining a nearly irreproducible knowledge of antenna theory. In my opinion, Jackson is mostly a guideline for studying electrodynamics. Once the student has the background Jackson is both fun and enlightening. Therein lies the difficulty. I have noticed that many libraries have "put up" or gotten rid of their Jeans and Smythes and other classical texts. The new books are not really a substitute. Since many professors did not really learn electrodynamics that well themselves, this make it truly difficult to obtain a really great grounding in the subject. I did not truly understand the difference until I was doing a lot of computational electrodynamics years later. Regardless of how one goes about it, somehow the student must get the required background before really using Jackson in any meaningful fashion. Current education in physics has made this more not less difficult.
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Format: Hardcover
(...but I wish I could!!!)
The title of my review just about sums my opinion on this "classic" grad electrodynamics text. The book kind of [stinks] as a textbook, but there is nothing even remotely close to it in scope out there.
So like a previous reviewer said: "Jackson's here to stay; GET USED TO IT!!"
...P>For those who still want my opinion on the specifics of this book (I promise, they won't help you-- you still have to get through Jackson!) I offer the following brief comments, some of which you may have heard before, some which may be new:
(1) The problems are hard. Damn hard. Someone else already said that, and I agree. What I WILL add, however, is that some of the problems are also simply STUPID and a waste of time, offering or enhancing physical understanding very little if at all. (Don't get me wrong-- there are some problems which, while hard, are also pretty darn cool. Unfortunately, there are too many of the other kind, too.) The type of problems I am talking about are of the following ilk: "Prove the following six-term vector identity;" "Re-derive equation #72 for a transverse magnetic field'" "Prove equation #27." Quite simply: WHO CARES!?!
(2) While the volume is pretty encyclopedic, it is often hard to follow. Jackson often simply states things in the text without explaining where they come from, how they are derived, or why they are important,--- for example, as I read the text, I began to hate the two words "we see," which are used is cases like (paraphrasing now) "Therefore, we see the following relationship holds"---when it was not at all clear to me where the heck this relationship was coming from! I often felt stupid because, in fact, I often did NOT "see" at all!!!
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